24 days into the job, Saturday marked the first high-profile staff departure from the Biden White House—and the second acquittal of former president Donald J. Trump.
Duck Duck Gone.
Roughly 24 hours after Jen Psaki faced the press on behalf of deputy press secretary TJ Ducklo and his “serious punishment” for harassing and threatening a female reporter, Ducklo is out, marking one of the shortest tenures in recent White House history, behind Anthony Scaramucci.
“We accepted the resignation of TJ Ducklo after a discussion with him this evening,” a statement from Psaki read. “This conversation occurred with the support of the White House Chief of Staff. We are committed every day to meet the standard set by the President in treating others with dignity and respect, with civility and with a value for others through our words and our actions.”
In a tweet acknowledging his “intolerable actions,” Ducklo wrote, in part: “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… This incident is not representative of who I am as a person.”
The second impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump ended on Saturday afternoon with a 57-43 vote in the Senate, far from the two-thirds majority required to convict.
President Joe Biden released a statement on Trump’s acquittal including this sentence: “While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute.” (The charge—that Trump incited violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6—is very much “in dispute,” as evidenced by the failure to convict.)
Biden’s personal reflection-filled statement went on:
Tonight, I am thinking about those who bravely stood guard that January day. I’m thinking about all those who lost their lives, all those whose lives were threatened, and all those who are still today living with terror they lived through that day. And I’m thinking of those who demonstrated the courage to protect the integrity of our democracy – Democrats and Republicans, election officials and judges, elected representatives and poll workers – before and after the election.
This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile. That it must always be defended. That we must be ever vigilant. That violence and extremism has no place in America. And that each of us has a duty and responsibility as Americans, and especially as leaders, to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.
That is how we end this uncivil war and heal the very soul of our nation. That is the task ahead. And it’s a task we must undertake together. As the United States of America.