Deputy White House press secretary TJ Ducklo has resigned after a report on Friday said he threatened to “destroy” a Politico reporter for writing about his romantic relationship with another member of the media.
“We accepted the resignation of TJ Ducklo after a discussion with him this evening,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. “This conversation occurred with the support of the White House Chief of Staff. 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.”
For his part, Ducklo released a statement in which he said, “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.”
He continued, “It was language that was abhorrent, disrespectful, and unacceptable. I am devastated to have embarrassed and disappointed my White House colleagues and President Biden, and after a discussion with White House communications leadership tonight, I resigned my position and will not be returning from administrative leave. I know this was terrible. I know I can’t take it back. But I also know I can learn from it and do better. This incident is not representative of who I am as a person, and I will be determined to earn back the trust of everyone I have let down because of my intolerable actions.”
Ducklo, who worked on President Joe Biden’s campaign, apologized to Politico Playbook reporter Tara Palmeri after Vanity Fair reported that he erupted at Palmeri after learning Politico was looking into his relationship with Axios political reporter Alexi McCammond.
According to Vanity Fair, when Ducklo became aware that the publication was looking into his romantic relationship with McCammond — which, while not uncommon among media and political figures, could cause ethical concerns when it comes to her reporting — he berated Palmeri, but not her male colleague assigned to the same piece.
The report said he threatened to “destroy” her and accused her of being “jealous” of McCammond and of their relationship.
Ducklo also participated in a favorable People magazine story reporting on the burgeoning romance — and McCammond’s willingness to be pulled off the Biden beat because of it.