PR Firm Hires Ex-White House Spokesman TJ Ducklo As Senior Vice President, After He Resigned for Threatening Reporter

Risa Heller Communications hired TJ Ducklo, the Nashville native who resigned as the Biden administration’s deputy press secretary shortly after his suspension for threatening and insulting a reporter. The reporter in question, Tara Palmeri, had inquired with another political reporter, Alexi McCammond, about the potential conflict of interest presented in her new relationship to Ducklo. In response, Ducklo made an off-the-record call to threaten and harass Palmeri. Palmeri shared Ducklo’s comments with his superiors. In one response to Palmeri’s concerns, senior Biden officials took Palmeri to task for breaking a reported off-the-record agreement with Ducklo. The scandal occurred shortly after President Joe Biden promised in his inaugural address to employees that disrespecting colleagues would be a fireable offense.

The PR firm’s founder and primary operator, Risa Heller, was formerly the communications director for Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and former Democratic governor of New York, David Paterson. Heller also offered crisis communications assistance to former Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY-09) amidst his sex scandal in 2011; Ivanka Trump as she navigated conflict ahead of her appointment as a senior advisor to her father, former President Trump; and the family real estate company of Jared Kushner, the previous president’s son-in-law.

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