White House staff are divided after current and former staffers alleged that a former associate director for advance verbally abused employees and told interns to do chores. 

Current staffers, speaking to Fox News Digital on condition of anonymity, said that those reports were highly misleading. 

Ian Mellul is the former associate director of presidential advance, which is in charge of preparing the ground for the president’s political events. He “resigned March 1 after a monthslong investigation,” per a Politico report.

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White House and Joe Biden split image

White House staff are divided after current and former staffers alleged that a former associate director for advance verbally abused employees and told interns to do chores.  (Getty Images)

“Mellul — who did advance for Biden’s 2020 campaign and joined the White House early on in the presidency — would threaten staffers that he would ‘ruin your life’ when mistakes were made and regularly called junior staffers ‘pieces of s—‘ and ‘worthless,’ according to two of the people who witnessed his actions,” Politico reported. 

Mellul also reportedly ordered interns to do personal chores for him, “like picking up his dry cleaning.” 

Mellul, however, denied that he ever made such demands of interns. “That is simply not true,” he told Fox News Digital in a statement. 

“I love all of my colleagues; they are committed, skilled, and brilliant public servants,” he said. “To anyone who felt otherwise at any time, I’m sorry and I want them to know that. It’s been the honor of a lifetime working with this team, and I’m so proud of everything we’ve done together. After over three amazing years in the White House, I wanted to start a new chapter.”

The controversy around Mellul comes after the White House Counsel’s Office started an investigation into the advance team amid rumors of harassment. White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told Fox News Digital that he would not “comment on personnel matters one way or another.”  

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U.S. President Joe Biden

The controversy around Mellul comes after the White House Counsel’s Office started an investigation into the advance team amid rumors of harassment. (Photographer: Jacquelyn Martin/AP/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Mellul is not the only person who has resigned from the advance team in recent months.  

“Brie Moore, the former director of press advance, also resigned within the past few weeks following complaints from the press corps to the White House about her behavior,” Politico reported. 

Some current and former staffers blamed Ryan Montoya for refusing to do enough to stop verbal abuse on the team. 

“Ryan Montoya is the head of the department who I think everyone would blame for this whole issue,” one former White House official told Politico. “People went to Ryan many times and Ryan would just laugh it off and ignore it.” 

Other staffers disputed that claim about Montoya, one telling Fox News Digital they have “never once felt disrespected by Ryan or heard him raise his voice.” 

That same staffer targeted the framing of Politico’s story. 

“I find the descriptions of [Ryan] that made their way into the Politico piece very surprising and totally at odds with what I’ve actually lived through every day for over three years,” the staffer said over text. “I’ve spent a ton of time with Ryan and the others on the team and this narrative of Ryan that Politico wrote about in their piece is completely devoid of reality and wildly insane.”

Another current staffer told Fox News Digital that Mellul and Montoya’s “mentorship,” “support” and “guidance” were of no doubt. 

Speaking specifically on Montoya, the staffer said that it was an honor to work for the Biden administration. 

“I couldn’t be prouder to work for Ryan and get to be in this administration under his leadership,” the staffer said. 

Joe Biden White House

“President Biden is deeply proud of his advance staff, its leadership,” White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told Fox News Digital.  ((AP Photo/Andrew Harnik))

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“President Biden is deeply proud of his advance staff, its leadership, and Ryan Montoya – a stand-up, dedicated group whose expertise, comraderie, and professionalism have been critical to his 242 domestic and 31 international trips, flawlessly executing events in unprecedented environments ranging from multiple active warzones outside American control to a once-in-a-century pandemic,” Bates told Fox News Digital. “He’s grateful to everyone who has served and is serving on an unmatched team that represents the diversity of the country as they have fought every day to help him bring his message to the American people and the entire world.”   

A Politico spokesperson defended the outlet’s reporting in a statement to Fox News Digital. 

“We stand by our reporting which was based on interviews with 18 current and former White House staffers and people who have worked directly with the White House advance team,” the statement reads.