First Lady Jill Biden has long cultivated an image of herself as a figure of warmth and kindness. However, new allegations claim that people who work in her office have endured a devilish experience.
“[T]he way he has wielded that power has made Bernal one of the most polarizing people in the White House, according to interviews with more than two dozen White House staffers, former campaign aides, and people who worked with him during the Obama administration,” Politico reported Monday.
“Many described him as ‘berating’ and ‘toxic’ because of his unfiltered criticism of others and tendency to trash talk his colleagues behind their backs,” the outlet added.
Bernal said to “to trash talk his colleagues”
According to Politico, some sources compared Bernal “to [Meryl Streep’s] character in Devil Wears Prada.” Another reportedly “equated him to the ever-conspiring Littlefinger in Game of Thrones.”
The outlet noted that Bernal’s negative reputation seems not to have harmed his standing with the first lady, as she gave him glowing praise in a 2019 memoir.
“A special thank-you to Anthony Bernal, who spent countless hours, holidays, and weekends to push me to write,” Biden said. “He knows how much I love him and respect him.”
Psaki denies, denies, denies
According to the New York Post, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked during a press conference on Tuesday about the accusations concerning Bernal — but as should come as no surprise, she was quick to demur on the topic.
“You know, it’s hard to look into anonymously sourced reports. I’m not aware of that being the intention,” Psaki said when pressed on the Politico story, according to the Post.
“I’ve worked with him now over the last six months, even as a newbie into the Biden orbit, the individual named by anonymous source [sic],” Psaki said, adding that Bernal “has been nothing but supportive and communicative and that’s been my experience.”
Jill Biden’s office is not the only one to be accused of being a difficult place to work, however. Similar claims have been made regarding Vice President Kamala Harris’ orbit as well.
A June Politico piece featured claims from insiders who said that Harris’ office is “an abusive environment” where “people feel mistreated.” It all adds up to a bad look for a White House that once claimed to be focused on “unity.”