WH Press Aide TJ Ducklo Resigns, Apologizes for 'Terrible, Intolerable' Threats to Reporter

Former White House deputy press secretary TJ Ducklo resigned on Saturday night, one day after he was suspended from his role for making threats to a female Politico reporter.

Ducklo shared a statement to Twitter announcing his resignation and apologizing for his actions.

"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 said.

"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."

Joe Biden speaks at a press conference
President Joe Biden speaks at the Pentagon February 10, 2021 in Washington, DC. Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty

Ducklo added: "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."

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that President Joe Biden's administration accepted Ducklo resignation after a discussion with him this evening.

"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," Psaki added.

Ducklo's suspension stemmed from a contentious phone call with Politico reporter Tara Palmeri last month, during which he chastized and threatened her over a story about his relationship with an Axios reporter.

On Friday, Vanity Fair reported that Ducklo "made derogatory and misogynistic comments" during the off-the-record call. Shortly after, Psaki announced that he had been suspended without pay.

"This in our view was an important step to send the message that we don't find this acceptable," she told reporters, adding that he has "apologized to the reporter, with whom he had a heated conversation about his personal life."

Ducklo's resignation came as critics began to point out that Biden had warned staffers on his first day that he would fire them "on the spot" if they disrespect each other.

"I'm not joking when I say this: If you're ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect or talk down to someone, I promise you, I will fire you on the spot," the president cautioned.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for further comment.