“Abhorrent, disrespectful, and unacceptable”: White House aide TJ Ducklo resigns after reports he threatened reporter

White House deputy press secretary TJ Ducklo announced Saturday that he is resigning for the “abhorrent, disrespectful, and unacceptable” threats he made to a female reporter in January. Duklo’s resignation comes one day after he was placed on a one-week suspension over the incident. 

Vanity Fair reported on Friday that Ducklo had threatened to “destroy” Politico reporter Tara Palmeri that if she continued to pursue a story about his relationship with Axios reporter Alexi McCammond, who had previously covered the Biden campaign. 

CBS News has not been able to independently verify the phone call, but the conversation three weeks ago prompted a series of moves by the White House communications office, two people familiar with the situation told CBS News. It is unclear why it took more than three weeks for the White House to discipline Ducklo. 

In a statement posted to Twitter, Ducklo said he is “devastated to have embarrassed and disappointed” President Biden and others at the White House. 

“No words can express my regret, my embarrassment, and my disgust for my behavior,” Ducklo said in a statement. “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.” 

“I knew this was terrible. I know I can’t take it back. But I also know that I can learn from it and do better,” Ducklo continued. “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.” 

My statement on resigning from the White House. pic.twitter.com/3Jpiiv75vB

This is the first public statement Ducklo has made on the matter. 

In a statement, press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the resignation on Saturday, saying she had a discussion with him on Saturday evening. White House chief of staff Ron Klain supported the conversation, she added. 

“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 said. 

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