White House spokesman TJ Ducklo resigns after threatening reporter

TJ Ducklo, a deputy press secretary at the White House, resigned on Saturday over an incident in which he threatened a Politico reporter.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the decision was made with the support of White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain.

“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,” Ms. Psaki said.

Mr. Ducklo said he resigned “after a discussion with White House communications leadership.”

“No words can express my regret, my embarrassment, and my disgust for my behavior,” he said. “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.”

The announcement came shortly after the U.S. Senate voted to acquit former President Donald Trump of inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The White House had announced Friday that Mr. Ducklo would be suspended for a week without pay and that he would no longer work with Politico reporters.

According to a story published Friday in Vanity Fair, Mr. Ducklo told reporter Tara Palmeri “I will destroy you” after she had started inquiring about his relationship with Axios reporter Alexi McCammond.

Mr. Ducklo also made wildly offensive, sexist, and misogynistic remarks to Ms. Palmeri, according to the report.

Some had questioned the White House’s initial decision only to suspend Mr. Ducklo given what President Biden had said on Inauguration Day about treating colleagues with respect.

“I’m not joking when I say this: 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. On the spot. No if[s], ands or buts,” Mr. Biden said.

In a positive profile billed as an exclusive, People magazine reported publicly on Monday on the romantic relationship between Mr. Ducklo and Ms. McCammond in a piece that was shared and promoted by White House staff.

Politico disclosed Tuesday morning that the outlet had been asking the White House about the relationship since at least last month.

Mr. Ducklo’s threats apparently took place in a conversation that happened on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day.

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