White House deputy press secretary TJ Ducklo has resigned a day after being suspended for issuing a sexist and profane threat to a journalist seeking to cover his relationship with another reporter.
Ducklo had been put on a week-long suspension without pay on Friday after a report surfaced in Vanity Fair outlining his sexist threats against a female Politico journalist to try to suppress a story about his relationship, telling her: “I will destroy you.”
The journalist had been seeking to report on his relationship with a political reporter at Axios who had previously covered the Biden campaign and transition.
In a statement on Saturday, Ducklo said he was “devastated to have embarrassed and disappointed my White House colleagues and President Biden”.
“No words can express my regret, my embarrassment and my disgust for my behaviour,” he said.
My statement on resigning from the White House. pic.twitter.com/3Jpiiv75vB
— TJ Ducklo (@TDucklo) February 14, 2021
Before Politico broke the story, People magazine published a glowing profile of the relationship. It was the first time either one had publicly acknowledged they were dating.
It’s the first scandal and the departure from the new administration, less than a month into President Joe Biden’s tenure, and it comes as the White House was facing criticism for not living up to standards set by Biden himself in the decision to retain Ducklo.
During a virtual swearing-in for staff on Inauguration Day, Biden said “if you ever work with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I will fire you on the spot”.