A top aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is getting chewed out by critics after he fired a reporter who accurately revealed the top Democrat’s plans ahead of Thursday’s speech.
Pelosi announced from the House floor that she would not seek re-election to lead the House Democratic Conference after nearly 20 years at the helm, but would remain in Congress to help support a new generation of leaders.
On Monday, Puck News editor Tara Palmeri shared her scoop revealing that Pelosi had made up her mind to step down and pass the baton to Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, DN.Y.
“Nothing in this report is correct,” Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, told Palmeri at the time. “As the president just said yesterday on national television, she will make a decision once all the votes have been counted. She’s not even thinking about her future right now.”
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Hammill further took aim at Palmeri on Twitter even before Puck News published its report, attacking his credibility on a story that was ultimately correct.
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“Always something to hear from @tarapalmeri from @PuckNews who has no supply in Pelosi’s world but is constantly trying to break news. As she rarely includes my responses, I’ll go ahead and tweet before she posts yet nothing in her reports are correct,” Hammill wrote Monday before. “I don’t know who is reading @PuckNews let alone who is paying, but I wanted to preempt the latest Pelosi scoop stuffed with typos from @tarapalmeri to let people know to everyone that it’s complete garbage, just like the previous ones. That’s all. ”
“touched a chord…” Palmeri replied.
Hours before Pelosi delivered his speech, Palmeri reported what the speaker ultimately shared in his speech, which was again attacked by Hammill.
“I hate to break this to my favorite reporter, but the president took two versions of her speech home last night, as it was reported. Anyone who tells you he knows what she’s going to do is a liar,” Hammill wrote.
“You’re right Drew, his staff don’t know,” Palmeri replied, to which Hammill replied, “And neither do you.”
Palmeri’s Puck News colleague Julia Ioffe slammed Hammill for the virus war ahead of Pelosi’s announcement.
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“After publicly tarring my colleague @tarapalmeri and calling her a liar for her absolutely correct reporting all week about President Pelosi stepping down, I think @Drew_Hammill owes Tara a public apology. Accountability matters “, wrote Ioffe.
Sharing a screenshot of Hammill’s earlier tweets, Ioffe added, “It’s wrong, Drew. Especially when you’re wrong. Abuse is not part of the job.”
Others have looked to Hammill’s last-ditch effort to discredit Palmeri’s reporting.
“Well, that looks incredibly obnoxious now,” Insider reporter Bryan Metzger responded.
“@tarapalmeri got it right,” wrote Gabe Fleisher, author of Wake Up 2 Politics.
“That’s what ended up happening. Literally, no need to be so rude,” chided Matt Holt, National Journal Hotline reporter, Hammill.
“We’re only as good as our sources, but I don’t think any of my colleagues trying to break the news are lying!” New York Times correspondent Annie Karni tweeted.
In response to Fox News’ request for comment, Hammill shared a Twitter thread hitting back at Ioffe.
“Here are the various things that were incorrect this week that @tarapalmeri pointed out: Pelosi would approve a successor. She didn’t. She has long said it was up to the members and not her. Pelosi would stay in Congress. C is fine. Pelosi says this on CNN on Sunday,” Hammill wrote. “Pelosi would have an advisory role to the leaders in some sort of official emeritus role. Pelosi told reporters today that she was not interested in that. – Pelosi was open to being an ambassador for Italy. I said it was crap for months.”
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Hammill continued: “Pelosi had decided to step down from the leadership. Tara reported it before the President made a decision. Last night the President came home with two versions of his speech (1 remains at the leadership , 1 no.) Tara doesn’t “I don’t include quotes from me that contradict her stories. This time, Tara guessed and wants praise for a scoop. It’s not journalism and I’ve never had more positive feedback than for calling it out – ESPECIALLY from other journalists.”
On Twitter, the Puck News writer dismissed Hammill’s characterization that Pelosi “endorsed” her successor, a term she said she never used. Palmeri also announced on Thursday that she would remain in Congress and not take up the post of ambassador to Italy.
Fox News has reached out to Palmeri for comment. Puck News declined to comment.
Pelosi’s announcement came just a day after Republicans officially clinched their 218-seat majority in the House of Representatives with a few pending races that could bolster the GOP’s slim control.