Biden aide Ducklo resigns over report that he threatened a reporter

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Deputy White House press secretary TJ Ducklo on Saturday said he was resigning amid allegations that he made "derogatory and misogynistic" remarks to Politico reporter Tara Palmeri almost a month ago. "I will destroy you", he told Palmeri, according to the magazine, which cited anonymous sources.

On Saturday, Ms Psaki said Mr Ducklo's decision to quit had come with the support of White House chief of staff Ron Klain, according to the Associated Press news agency.

President Donald Trump's White House was known for an adversarial relationship with reporters, and both Trump himself and his lead spokespeople would frequently pick fights with and lob personal attacks at reporters from behind the podium.

Palmeri declined to comment. She had reported on Tuesday that Ducklo had been in a romantic relationship with Axios reporter Alexi McCammond.

The piece followed a flattering article about the relationship published the night before by People with the headline, "Reporter Forgoes Covering President as Romance Blossoms with Biden Aide Battling Cancer".

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described where some White House officials shared their concerns about Ducklo's suspension.

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Ducklo, who was national press secretary for Biden's 2020 election campaign, issued a statement on Twitter addressing his "intolerable actions".

"I'm not joking when I say this", Biden said.

"If you are 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", Biden said. "No ifs, ands or buts", he said. Everybody is entitled to be treated with decency and dignity. I'm not aware of a history of that step being taken; you all can check me on that.

As the story broke Friday, Psaki said Ducklo apologised to the reporter "with whom he had a heated conversation about his personal life".

Politico Playbook, the Washington politics tips and gossip newsletter that Palmeri reports for, wrote this week that McCammond made it public in November that she was dating Ducklo. This person said Ducklo's resignation was a result of a realization by the press and communications leadership that there needed to be a conversation with Ducklo about what was best for President Joe Biden, and whether his remaining on the job represented the standard this administration tried to set. He also reportedly "made derogatory and misogynistic comments". When asked about the delay at Friday's briefing, Psaki said they were dealing with Politico privately and that's what they thought was appropriate at the time.

Biden offered his own standard for the conduct he expects from his staff in comments he made during a virtual swearing-in with staff the day he was sworn in.

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