THE White House’s Deputy Press Secretary, T. J. Ducklo, has ‘jumped before he was pushed’, after being suspended for a week while Biden’s team opened an investigation into sexist and threatening calls and texts sent to a Washington journalist.
Ducklo is alleged to have warned: “I will destroy you” after she quizzed him about the relationship.
He is also alleged to have accused Palmeri of being jealous of his girlfriend because another male had suggested he wanted to ‘f*ck’ his partner instead of her.
Psaki said Palmeri had been contacted by staff “at the highest levels” of the White House’s communications team, who had apologised for it – as well as receiving a written apology from Ducklo himself.
“No one wants anyone to feel uncomfortable, to be put in an uncomfortable position,” she added.
Psaki said in a statement earlier Friday that Ducklo had been suspended without pay with the approval of White House chief of staff Ron Klain.
She said Ducklo “is the first to acknowledge this is not the standard of behaviour set out” by Biden, and that Ducklo had sent the reporter in question “a personal note professing his profound regret.”
On his first day in office, the new president warned hundreds of political appointees at their swearing-in: “I’m not joking when I say this: 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. No ifs, ands or buts.”
As a result, Ducklo has now officially resigned from his position in the White House.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Mr Ducklo, 32, wrote: “No words can express my regret, my embarrassment and my disgust for my behaviour.”
“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 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.”
Mr Ducklo said “this incident is not representative of me I am as a person”, adding that he was determined “to earn back the trust of everyone I have let down because of my intolerable actions”.