Michael LaRosa, former press secretary for Jill Biden, has found himself at the center of a controversial departure from the White House.
Insiders allege that LaRosa's exit was due to a series of misjudgments, including attempts to bring dates to a secure hotel floor during a NATO summit.
According to sources, the incidents involving LaRosa occurred in June 2022, during the NATO Summit in Madrid. LaRosa, then serving as Jill Biden's press secretary, reportedly tried to bring individuals he met through a dating app to his hotel room, located on a secure floor where the First Lady was staying. This act raised concerns about security protocols and the safety of the First Lady.
A source from the Secret Service confirmed that LaRosa was caught on two separate occasions, attempting to bring dates to the secure area, Daily Mail reported.
This action was viewed as a significant security breach, given the high-profile nature of the event and the presence of numerous international delegates.
LaRosa's behavior did not stop at these incidents. He was reportedly warned after the first attempt but persisted, indicating a disregard for the guidelines set for staff during such high-security events.
"He was caught by Secret Service not once, but twice bringing dates to a secure floor, obviously putting the First Lady’s safety at risk because you’re not supposed to bring people in who are not fully vetted," said a White House staffer.
LaRosa's tenure as press secretary was also marked by other issues. Colleagues described him as increasingly unreliable, often missing important calls and meetings. There were also allegations of him leaking sensitive information to the media, including minor details about the Bidens' cat Willow and major news like Ashley Biden's COVID diagnosis.
In response to these allegations, LaRosa has defended his actions. He acknowledged going on dates but denied any security breach or wrongdoing. He insisted that bringing guests to staff floors was a common practice and not a violation of protocol. LaRosa also claimed his departure from the White House was voluntary, as he moved on to a private sector job.
Since leaving the White House, LaRosa has taken up roles in both the private sector and the media. He worked briefly with the Penta Group consulting firm before joining Ballard Partners, a lobbying firm. In addition, he has appeared as a political commentator on cable news, often critiquing the White House.
Despite LaRosa's public defense, his former colleagues paint a different picture. They describe a pattern of erratic behavior and outbursts that undermined his professional relationships and responsibilities. According to a White House official, LaRosa was not allowed in senior strategy meetings, hinting at a diminished role prior to his departure.
The alleged incidents involving LaRosa had broader implications for the functioning of the First Lady's office. LaRosa's actions were seen as jeopardizing not only security protocols but also the office's internal dynamics and public image.
When LaRosa left the White House, he was publicly praised for his service. However, insiders reveal that there was a sense of relief at his departure, stemming from a buildup of concerns over his conduct and reliability.
"There was a long line of chaotic behavior, outbursts, unreliability, unpredictability, and lack of judgment that went into his last six months before his departure," a White House official stated.
LaRosa's tenure and subsequent exit from the White House raised questions about the vetting and management of staff within such high-profile positions. The allegations against him, including security breaches and professional misconduct, highlight the challenges of maintaining strict protocols in the politically charged environment of the White House.
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