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White House Press Aide TJ Ducklo Resigns Over Threats Against Reporter

Feb 13, 2021
Originally published on February 14, 2021 10:01 am

White House deputy press secretary TJ Ducklo resigned on Saturday after a report emerged that he verbally threatened a reporter who was pursuing a story about his romantic relationship with another reporter.

Ducklo, who had been serving a weeklong suspension without pay for the incident, posted a statement on Twitter confirming his resignation.

"No words can express my regret, my embarrassment, and my disgust for my behavior. I used language that no woman should ever have to hear from anyone, especially in a situation where she was just trying to do her job. It was language that was abhorrent, disrespectful, and unacceptable," he said.

"I am devastated to have embarrassed and disappointed my White House colleagues and President Biden, and after discussion with White House communications leadership tonight, I resigned my position and will not be returning from administrative leave."

He further said that he is determined to earn back the trust of everyone he let down because of his "intolerable actions."

White House press secretary Jen Psaki also issued a statement, accepting Ducklo's resignation.

"We accepted the resignation of TJ Ducklo after a discussion with him this evening. This conversation occurred with the support of the White House Chief of Staff," Psaki said. "We are committed to striving every day to meet the standard set by the President in treating others with dignity and respect, with civility and with a value for others through our words and our actions."

On Friday, Vanity Fair published a report that described Ducklo lashing out at Politico reporter Tara Palmeri. Ducklo reportedly made derogatory and misogynistic comments toward Palmeri, vowing to "destroy" her if she published a piece about his romantic relationship with Axios political reporter Alexi McCammond.

Psaki subsequently suspended Ducklo for one week without pay.

She later had to defend her decision after reporters asked whether her suspension of Ducklo fell short of President Biden's message to his political appointees on Inauguration Day. Biden told staffers that he would fire them "on the spot" if they "treat another colleague with disrespect."

Ducklo has apologized to Palmeri for his behavior, according to Psaki.

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