February 14, 2021
White House Press Aide TJ Ducklo Resigns Amid Harassment Scandal

White House press aide TJ Ducklo, who has been embroiled in controversy in recent days amid allegations that he made threatening comments to a reporter, has resigned from his post in the administration of President Joe Biden.

As relayed by Forbes' Andrew Solender in a tweet on Saturday, W.H. Press Secretary Jen Psaki issued a statement confirming Ducklo had tendered his resignation following a discussion earlier in the evening. She further noted she and her team were committed to following the standard set by Biden in treating people with "dignity and respect" and showing they value others through their actions and words.

One day earlier, Ducklo made headlines when Vanity Fair reported he had lashed out at Politico's Tara Palmeri, who was working on a story about the former's personal relationship with Axios reporter Alexi McCammond.

Per the Vanity Fair report, Ducklo was incensed that the story was being written and wasted little time in attempting to stamp it out. In doing so, he contacted Palmeri and allegedly told her he would "destroy" her for publishing it. He was also said to have made a number of misogynistic remarks, suggesting she was "jealous" an unidentified man had wanted to be with McCammond and not her in the past.

That account of what transpired between the two was released mere hours after Psaki had stated "compassion and kindness is back" in a quote retweet from her official government Twitter profile.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a February 2021 press briefing.
Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla

In the wake of the scandal, Psaki revealed Ducklo had been suspended for one week without pay. She further indicated he had apologized to Palmeri and he would not be working directly with Politico reporters upon his return to work.

Despite the initial punitive action that had been taken, Biden's press secretary faced criticism from some who said she had turned a blind eye to Ducklo's abusive behavior. Others noted she had dodged a question on Friday regarding the president's Inauguration Day claim that he would immediately fire any staff member who was found to have been disrespectful to others.

For his part, Ducklo expressed regret for his behavior in a tweeted statement following the announcement of his resignation.

"I know this is terrible. I know I can't take it back," he wrote. "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."