“I used language that no woman should ever hear from anyone, especially in a situation where she was just trying to do her job,” Ducklo wrote on Twitter.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
Deputy White House Press Secretary TJ Ducklo resigned Saturday after abusive comments he made to a female reporter came to light.
“I used language that no woman should ever hear from anyone, especially in a situation where she was just trying to do her job,” he wrote on Twitter. “It was language that was abhorrent, disrespectful, and unacceptable.”
Ducklo’s announcement came days after the White House said he had been placed on unpaid leave for a week over the remarks.
Last month, Politico journalist Tara Palmieri, along with a male colleague from the same publication, reached out to Ducklo for comment over rumors he was dating Axios reporter Alexi McCammond, who had covered Biden’s campaign.
The rumor turned out to be true, as People Magazine later released a flattering profile of the couple.
Ducklo responded solely to Palmieri, ignoring her male colleague. In an off-the-record conversation, he allegedly went on a tirade, threatening to derail Palmieri’s career.
He told Palmieri “I will destroy you,” a source with insider knowledge of the call said toVanity Fair. He also allegedly insinuted that Palmieri’s motivation for covering the story was sexual envy.
“You’re jealous that [an unidentified man] wanted to f– Alexi [McCammond] and not you,” he reportedly told Palmieri, then suggested Palmieri was jealous of his relationship with McCammond.
There is no evidence to suggest that Palmieri and McCammond had any prior contact with each other, or that Palmieri had an ulterior motive for covering the story.
The day after the call, a Politico editor contacted the White House for comment on Ducklo’s behavior, as it appeared to be directly at odds with an “anti-bullying” culture pushed by President Joe Biden.
In a swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20, Biden told staff members, “If you’re ever working with me, and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot… no ifs, ands or buts.”
But rather than firing Ducklo, the White House initially placed the blame on Palmieri, suggesting that she had behaved inappropriately by revealing the details of an off-the-record phone call.
After significant backlash, Ducklo was eventually placed on leave.
When asked by a CNN reporter why Ducklo was suspended for a week rather than fired, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki explained, “He had a heated conversation about a story related to his personal life.
“I’m not saying that’s acceptable, but I just want to be clear that it was not about an issue related to the White House or White House policy or anything along those lines.”
It’s unclear why Ducklo decided to resign while the suspension was still in effect. The White House said Sunday that they accepted his resignation.