President Joe Biden gave a warning to the nearly 1,000 federal employees and staff he appointed on day one in office.
Be respectful to colleagues, he warned, or you’re out.
“If you’re ever working 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,” Mr Biden said in a virtual ceremony in the State Dining Room of the White House. He spoke from behind a lectern, while the appointees appeared at the event via video streams set up on a series of television screens.
He reminded them that “we work for the people” and called on them to be “decent, honourable and smart.”
The message contrasted with the previous administration with a president accused by critics for misogyny, belittling opponents, disrespecting the public and his office. There were also reports from inside the White House of commonplace bullying by senior officials – something denied by the administration.