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Deputy WH Press Secretary Resigns after Lashing Out at Reporter

White House Deputy Press Secretary T. J. Ducklo at a White House press briefing, February 2021. (Carlos Barria / Reuters)

Deputy White House press secretary T. J. Ducklo resigned on Saturday following revelations that he lashed out at a reporter pursuing a story on his relationship with another journalist, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.

Ducklo’s relationship with Axios reporter Alexi McCammond was revealed in a profile of the couple in People magazine last week. However, when Politico reporter Tara Palmeri attempted to work on a story about the relationship in January, Ducklo called Palmeri and threatened to ruin her reputation if the story was published.

“I will destroy you,” Ducklo told Palmeri, in a conversation revealed by Vanity Fair. Ducklo also accused Palmeri of being jealous” that another, unidentified man “wanted to f***” McCammond “and not you.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced on Friday, after Ducklo’s altercation with Palmeri was revealed, that Ducklo would be suspended for one week without pay. Following an outcry from other journalists, White House communications officials decided that Ducklo’s resignation would be a preferable course of action, two senior officials told the Post.

Ducklo “knew that his conduct was not consistent with the values that President Biden expects from his staff,” communications director Kate Bedingfield said. “And so he offered his resignation.”

Ducklo posted an apology to his Twitter account on Friday, writing that “no words can express my regret, my embarrassment, and my disgust for my behavior.”

The Biden administration has promised a more friendly relationship with the press, following former President Trump’s frequently adversarial approach to media outlets and reporters.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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