Biden Aide T.J. Ducklo Threatened to ‘Destroy’ Politico Reporter for Story on His Relationship With Axios Journalist

T.J. Ducklo, President Joe Biden’s deputy press secretary, is accused of threatening Politico reporter Tara Palmeri for working on a story regarding his relationship with Axios journalist Alexi McCammond, according to a Friday report.

The confrontation began on Inauguration Day, January 20, after Palmeri, a coauthor of Politico’s Playbook, contacted McCammond for comment while one of her male colleagues left a message for Ducklo, according to sources. […] But instead of calling the male reporter who initially contacted him, Ducklo tried to intimidate Palmeri by phone in an effort to kill the story. “I will destroy you,” Ducklo told her, according to sources, adding that he would ruin her reputation if she published it.

During the off-the-record call, Ducklo made derogatory and misogynistic comments, accusing Palmeri of only reporting on his relationship—which, due to the ethics questions that factor into the relationship between a journalist and White House official, falls under the purview of her reporting beat—because she was “jealous” that an unidentified man in the past had “wanted to fuck” McCammond “and not you.” Ducklo also accused Palmeri of being “jealous” of his relationship with McCammond.

Hours following Vanity Fair‘s report, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced that Ducklo (pictured) would not be fired and instead be placed on a one-week suspension without pay.

“TJ Ducklo has apologized to the reporter, with whom he had a heated conversation about his personal life. He is the first to acknowledge this is not the standard of behavior set out by the President,” Psaki wrote on Twitter. “In addition to his initial apology, he has sent the reporter a personal note expressing his profound regret.”

“With the approval of the White House Chief of Staff, he has been placed on a one-week suspension without pay,” the White House official added. “In addition, when he returns, he will no longer be assigned to work with any reporters at Politico.”

Ducklo has yet to issue a statement addressing the controversy. Palmeri has remained mum as well.

The White House’s decision to keep Ducklo appears to violate a pledge made by Biden to terminate members of his administration who conduct themselves disrespectfully towards others. In a January 21 video conference, Biden assured staff that his administration will lead with “core American values” and “humility and trust.”

“Everybody is entitled to be treated with decency and dignity,” Biden said. “That’s been missing in a big way the last four years.”

“I am not joking when I say this … if you ever work with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect … talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot … on the spot. No ifs, ands, or buts,” the president warned.

At the start of the Biden administration, Psaki told reporters she had a “deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy.”

“There will be moments when we disagree, and there will certainly be days where we disagree for extensive parts of the briefing even, perhaps,” she stated. “But we have a common goal, which is sharing accurate information with the American people.”

Less than 20% of Venezualan’s Turn Out to Vote in Venezuela’s Rigged Elections

Venezuela’s illegitimate socialist regime attempted to celebrate the results of its rigged legislative elections Sunday as a “people’s victory” despite record-low turnout that the polling firm Meganálisis estimated to be less than 20 percent of eligible voters.

Rubén Chirino Leañez, the CEO of Meganálisis, told Breitbart News in an interview Sunday that the turnout was especially embarrassing for Nicolás Maduro’s regime because the socialists used extortion and threats, including the threat of losing access to food, to get people to the polls.

“The government was going to deploy its entire apparatus, everything: the infrastructure, the pressure, the military,” Chirino explained. “They pressured people with [threats of] losing [government-distributed] packages of food, losing social assistance, losing their jobs. And of course, that entire infrastructure creates pressure.”

Maduro regime officials were not opaque in their threats. Diosdado Cabello, a senior Maduro henchman, suspected drug lord, and television show host, stated plainly during a campaign rally: “those who don’t vote, don’t eat.”

There’s no food for those who don’t vote. I don’t know. Those who don’t vote, don’t eat; they get put in quarantine with no eating,” Cabello said last week, evoking harrowing testimonies from survivors of Maduro’s rudimentary Chinese coronavirus quarantine who have said they did not receive food while imprisoned in abandoned motels.

Chirino added that, in addition to threats, the Maduro regime used other tactics like going door-to-door and pressuring people to leave and vote and, towards the evening, “they extended the voting time because they said there were too many people on line waiting to vote, which was false.”

Venezuela is entering a third decade of socialism, marked by extreme shortages in food, medicine, fuel, and basic goods. Dictator Nicolás Maduro placed the national food supply under the control of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) of Venezuela, which is loyal to Maduro and implicated in several major drug trafficking investigations, in 2016. This allows Maduro’s regime to control access to food in the country and thus deny it to people who do not openly support the regime. Less than a year later, reports began surfacing of large quantities of food rotting under military custody as soldiers demanded bribes for food, but civilians did not have enough money to pay for them. At the same time, reports showed a growing number of Venezuelans digging through garbage for food, killing zoo animals to eat, and brawling over small items like a bag of onions.

Meganálisis estimated that only 19.13 percent of eligible voters in Venezuela participated in Sunday’s election, meaning over 80 percent of the country boycotted the race. This means that about 16.7 million people chose not to vote, compared to the 4 million who did. The Maduro regime claimed a 31-percent participation rate.

Chirino told Breitbart News that, taking into account voters who showed up to vote because of threats, the true turnout – meaning people who voted because they wanted to vote – was closer to 12 percent.

“When we get to a 19-percent participation rate, we’re talking about a 19 percent of which I am convinced that there is a six or seven percent that is doing it under pressure, is being extorted, that is doing it under coercive measures imposed by the state, which threatens people to participate.”

“If we are talking about people voting voluntarily, I think we are talking about a 12 or 13 percent,” Chirino concluded.

Maduro, who has not been the constitutional president of Venezuela since January 2019, organized the first National Assembly elections since 2015 on December 6. The last elections resulted in a resounding loss for Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and victories for center-left opposition parties, which campaigned together under the umbrella name “Democratic Unity Roundtable.”

This time, Maduro made sure to appoint key allies to the National Electoral Council (CNE), which counts the votes, and forcibly replace the leadership of major opposition parties with socialist cronies, resulting in all options on the ballot for voters being controlled directly by Maduro. The Organization of American States (OAS) urged the world to reject the results of December’s election a month ago, stating a free and fair vote there was impossible.

As the results of the election were a foregone conclusion – the PSUV swept the race, according to socialist propaganda outlet VTV – the true measure of the public support for Maduro and his party is how many people bothered to participate in the farce.

“We have had a tremendous and great people’s victory,” Maduro said on Sunday. “A cyclical change is coming, a positive, virtuous, change, a change of work and recovery. We are moving towards the recovery of the nation, of the economy, and overcoming the blockade,” he said, referring to U.S. sanctions on his top henchmen.

“An 80-percent abstention rate is a crushing number for the system,” Chirino told Breitbart News.

“Generally, the weakness of the socialist system in Venezuela, of the model as it is structured, is significant,” he explained. “People do not believe in electoral paths in this system because they know that, later, some contraption is going to appear and the participants are going to lend themselves to legitimizing the contraptions as part of a negotiation so … this high abstention rate consolidates that this system is wasted away.”

“The socialist system in Venezuela needs an urgent structural change. The institutions have absolutely no credibility whatsoever, they are on the floor,” Chirino added.

“Venezuelans are tired of this. Venezuelans seek a total rupture from this model. Venezuelans aspire to a country where a different model of government exists, where family is respected, where property is respected. where honest labor is respected,” Chirino said. “They expect the application of order, the application of the law, [and] that corrupt people be punished, whether they are of the government or of the opposition.”

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

Source: Breitbart

Federal Judge Orders City Of L.A. To Pay NRA $150,000 After Retaliation Against Contractors With Ties To Gun Group

The city of Los Angeles has been ordered to pay the National Rifle Association $150,000 after Mayor Garcetti and co. were caught trying to strong arm and intimidate city contractors who had ties to the gun organization. Federal Judge Stephen Wilson, of the Central District of California, ruled that the city’s tactics were a violation of the contractors’ 1st Amendment rights of free speech and free association. The city will be paying out $100,000 plus attorney fees.

In April of last year, the city passed a resolution that included all of the normal rhetorical bloviations about guns, and read, in part “The City of Los Angeles has enacted ordinances and adopted positions that promote gunsafety and sensible gun ownership. The City’s residents deserve to know if the City’s public funds are spent on contractors that have contractual or sponsorship ties with the NRA. Public funds provided to such contractors undermines the City’s efforts to legislate and promote gun safety…. this ordinance requires those seeking to do business with the City to fully and accurately disclose any and all contracts with or sponsorship of the NRA.”

Washington Free Beacon reports:

Federal district court judge Stephen Wilson struck down a city ordinance aimed at punishing prospective contractors with ties to the NRA as an infringement on the right to free speech and association. On Tuesday, he ordered city officials to pay for the Second Amendment group’s attorney fees, which totaled nearly $150,000.

“In this case, the text of the Ordinance, the Ordinance’s legislative history, and the concurrent public statements made by the Ordinance’s primary legislative sponsor evince a strong intent to suppress the speech of the NRA,” Wilson ruled in December. “Even though the Ordinance only forces disclosure of activity that may not be expressive, the clear purpose of the disclosure is to undermine the NRA’s explicitly political speech.”

The NRA filed suit against the ordinance shortly after it was implemented in April 2019. Amy Hunter, a spokeswoman for the NRA, told the Washington Free Beacon the rulings prove the city unfairly targeted the group because of its advocacy.

“Violations of any constitutional rights by government officials should carry consequences,” she said. “The courts have rightfully imposed those consequences upon Los Angeles. The NRA will continue our fight and, as always, work to hold politicians accountable.”

Neither Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti (D.) nor councilmember Mitch O’Farrell (D.), who sponsored the ordinance, responded to requests for comment.

The NRA won a similar court battle last year, when San Francisco backed down after declaring them to be a “terrorist organization” and attempted similar blacklisting of city contractors.

Source: https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/10/federal-judge-orders-city-l-pay-nra-150000-retaliation-contractors-ties-gun-group/

Declassified Documents Expose DOJ Rules for Spying on Journalists with Secret Court

On Monday (Sept 17, 2018) the Freedom of the Press Foundation released Department of Justice documents detailing the procedure for monitoring journalists using the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The documents were recently obtained via Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Freedom of the Press Foundation and Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. […]

Biden Bragged About the Firing of a Prosecutor Who Was Investigating His Son’s Firm

After leaving office in 2017, Vice President Joe Biden Bragged about strong-arming the government of Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor.

Biden himself described the turn of events at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations in January 2018:

I said, “Nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars.” They said, “You have no authority. You’re not the president.” The president said—I said, “Call him.” I said, “I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars.” I said, “You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours.” I looked at them and said, “I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.” Well, son of a bitch. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.

Biden made the remarks during a meeting of foreign policy specialists. Biden said he, “Threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.” Biden suggested during his talk that Barack Obama was in on the threat.

State Department Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland worked with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt in late 2015 to create a plan to force the firing of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin,  according to the impeachment inquiry testimony of George Kent, a senior State Department official. Nuland was also among a network of Obama administration officials involved in the distribution and recirculation of the infamous Steele dossier, the document used by the FBI to secure a maximally intrusive spy warrant to surveil a Trump-campaign associate.

In April 2019, John Solomon revealed what Biden did not tell his audience. Joe Biden had Shokin fired because he was investigating Joe Biden’s son Hunter.

Poroshenko was investigating $3 million in funds that were being transferred out of Ukraine and into accounts in the United States at that time.

In August 2019. Biden told Politico,“I’ve never discussed with my son or my brother, or anyone else anything having to do with their businesses, period.” Biden also told FOX News reporter Peter Doocy that he never discussed Ukraine with his son Hunter — before he threatened the Ukrainians to fire the prosecutor investigating his son. They were both blatant lies. Biden contacted federal agencies (privately contacted both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice) at least twice to intervene on behalf of his drug-addicted son’s lobbying firm.

In May President Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said in an interview that he plans to travel to Ukraine to push the country’s leadership on several probes that may prove “very, very helpful” to President Trump, as Republicans continue looking to turn the tables on Democrats and prove that they — not the GOP — were the party that improperly conspired with foreign actors.

Rudy Giuliani later joined Sean Hannity to discuss this international scandal involving Joe Biden and his drug addict son, Hunter Biden.

Rudy told Sean that Joe Biden will be investigated no matter what.

Three days later Rep. Adam Schiff told ABC that President Trump should not be allowed to investigate Joe Biden’s criminal dealings in Ukraine.

Joe Biden and his son also secured a billion-dollar China deal just days after former Vice President Joe Biden visited China in 2013.

On September 21st 2019, President Trump destroyed the Biden Crime Family on the real Ukrainian scandal.

After Poroshenko and the Ukrainian parliament ousted Shokin, The New York Times reported “Shokin had been criticized for not prosecuting officials, businessmen and members of Parliament for their roles in corrupt schemes during the government of former President Viktor F. Yanukovych.”

There was at least one notable prosecution in progress, however, at the time Shokin was sacked: a corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas company which employed Hunter Biden.

According to The Hill‘s Executive VP John Solomon, Ukrainian officials have a file on Burisma holdings which “shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.”

Shokin was also interviewed for the report and said he made “specific plans” for the foiled investigation which “included interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden.”

Starting in 2018 US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich, a Trump-hating Obama appointee) denied Ukrainian officials visas to enter the United States to hand over evidence of Obama administration misconduct to Trump administration officials.

She was removed from her post in Ukraine early in May 2019 when all of the Ukrainian collusion with the DNC came to light.

John Solomon at The Hill reported:

According to interviews with more than a dozen Ukrainian and U.S. officials, Ukraine’s government under recently departed President Petro Poroshenko and, now, Zelensky has been trying since summer 2018 to hand over evidence about the conduct of Americans they believe might be involved in violations of U.S. law during the Obama years.

The Ukrainians say their efforts to get their allegations to U.S. authorities were thwarted first by the U.S. embassy in Kiev, which failed to issue timely visas allowing them to visit America.

In September 2019, Solomon, after obtaining over 400 pages of documents on the scandal, revealing details from Shokin on how it happened and claims he tried to get his job as top prosecutor back after he learned how Joe Biden had pressured Ukraine to remove him for his investigation of Burisma.

Sources: