Former White House Deputy Press Secretary T.J. Ducklo resigned on Saturday evening following backlash for sexually denigrating a female reporter who asked him questions about his romantic relationship with Axios reporter Alexi McCammond, who frequently writes about Vice President Kamala Harris and the Biden administration.
“No words can express my regret, my embarrassment, and my disgust for my behavior,” Ducklo said in his official resignation statement, noting that he “embarrassed and disappointed” the new administration greatly. “I used language 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.”
My statement on resigning from the White House. pic.twitter.com/3Jpiiv75vB
— TJ Ducklo (@TDucklo) February 14, 2021
One day before his resignation, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki suspended Ducklo for one week with no pay after a report from Vanity Fair exposed his derogatory comments towards Politico’s Tara Palmeri. The comments included threatening to “destroy” her if the corporate media outlet chose to run a story on the potential conflicts of interest stemming from Ducklo’s relationship with McCammond and claiming Palmeri was just “jealous” of “an unidentified man in the past who had ‘wanted to f-ck’ McCammond ‘and not you.'”
Psaki later admitted during her Friday afternoon press briefing that she knew about the incident long before the story was published. Many, including multiple reporters, criticized her punishment for Ducklo as merely a slap on the wrist.
Biden previously warned his staff that he would fire them “on the spot” if he heard them “disrespect or talk down to someone.” Psaki, however, claimed Ducklo was not fired because “it was not about an issue related to the White House or a White House policy or anything along those lines.”
The White House accepted Ducklo’s resignation on Saturday evening after a conversation between the aide and the administration 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 with our words and actions,” the White House press release stated.
BREAKING: TJ Ducklo has resigned his position as White House deputy press secretary pic.twitter.com/dxsRYCLXgs
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) February 14, 2021
McCammond did not respond to The Federalist’s request for comment.