It’s never a good look for a top-level White House staffer to resign in disgrace within the first few weeks of a new administration.
That’s exactly what has happened in President Joe Biden’s administration, as now-former White House deputy press secretary T.J. Ducklo submitted his resignation this weekend after controversy erupted over his treatment of a female Politico reporter, The Daily Wire reported.
Ducklo is the first high-profile member of Biden’s staff who has resigned from the new administration.
What did he do?
At the crux of the controversy was Ducklo’s threatening language toward Politico reporter Tara Palmeri, who contacted Axios reporter Alexi McCammond about her romantic relationship with Duckalo.
Ducklo, who apparently didn’t want a story on the dating relationship published, became enraged and issued nasty threats against Palmeri, including reportedly saying, “I will destroy you,” and accusing Palmeri of being jealous of his relationship.
Fallout behind the scenes escalated quickly, with Politico editors and White House communications staffers reportedly holding “intense meetings” over the matter, according to Vanity Fair.
After the story broke, the White House announced that Ducklo had been placed on a week’s suspension, despite Biden promising on Inauguration Day that he would fire anyone in the administration who disrespected others “on the spot.”
On Saturday, the fallout from the situation escalated once again, as the White House and Ducklo announced that he had submitted his resignation.
The former White House staffer announced his resignation after reportedly holding a meeting with press secretary Jen Psaki and other members of the White House communications staff.
“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,” Ducklo said in a statement.
My statement on resigning from the White House. pic.twitter.com/3Jpiiv75vB
— TJ Ducklo (@TDucklo) February 14, 2021
Psaki also issued a statement about the situation on Saturday, though she was criticized by The Hill columnist Joe Concha for failing to act on Ducklo’s abhorrent behavior prior to news of the controversy being published online.