White House deputy press secretary TJ Ducklo announced his departure via Twitter on Saturday, just a day after he was placed on a one-week suspension without pay.
“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 wrote. “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.”
Ducklo went on to explain the severity of his actions. “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,” he said. “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.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the resignation in a statement to CNN.
“We accepted the resignation of TJ Ducklo after a discussion with him this evening,”she said. “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.”
According to a recent Vanity Fair article, Ducklo allegedly threatened Politico’s Tara Palmeri over a report about his relationship with Axios’ Alexi McCammond. The outlet reports that a male journalist with Politico had initially contacted Ducklo while investigating the potential conflict of interest, while Palmeri reached out to McCammond. In an apparent attempt to squash the report, Ducklo allegedly called Palmeri—not the male journalist who contacted him—and threatened to “destroy” her if she published the piece. Ducklo also allegedly made misogynistic comments toward Palmeri in an off-the-record conversation, in which he brought up the reporter’s personal life and accused her of being “jealous.”
Shortly after the Vanity Fair article was published, Psaki claimed Ducklo had already apologized to Palmeri for his behavior. The apology note, which was obtained by CNN, read: “Last night on the phone with you I lost my temper in a way that was unprofessional, and I apologize for that. I should have done a better job at keeping my emotions in check during our conversation. It won’t happen again.”
Ducklo and McCammond claimed their relationship began in 2020, while the former was working as Biden’s chief spokesperson and the latter was covering the Biden campaign. Axios also claimed McCammond had disclosed the relationship in November and was reassigned to cover then-Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.