Trump Speaks Out After White House Staff Secretary Accused of Abuse

politics
February 09, 2018Feb 09, 2018

Rob Porter, the White House staff secretary, revealed on Wednesday that he will resign from his position after accusations of him physically abusing his ex-wives throughout their marriages.

Porter claimed that the allegations are "outrageous" and "simply false," but that he will still resign from his position in the White House. 

Politico reports that Rob Porter was a mostly unknown but nevertheless deeply influential White House aid who spends almost every day by President Trump's side.

Indeed, as staff secretary, Porter handled every single document signed by President Trump. As a former chief of staff to Senator Orrin Hatch, he also became the lead White House policy coordinator on several very important issues. He also organized a weekly meeting with senior administration officials and Cabinet secretaries to bridge internal divides among Trump's team on tariff and trade policy.

On Friday, President Trump called the departure of his former staff secretary as "very sad" and wishes him "well." According to CNN, President Trump's first public comments about the news of his staff secretary's departure were sympathetic. Trump even pointed to Porter's claim that he is "innocent." 

"I found out about it recently and I was surprised by it," Trump said. "We certainly wish him well. It's obviously a very tough time for him. He did a very good job while he was in the White House."

"We hope that he will have a wonderful career," Trump added.

"He says he's innocent, and I think you have to remember that," Trump continued. "He said very strongly yesterday that he's innocent, but you'll have to talk to him about that."

Porter's ex-wives both went public in the Daily Mail with accounts of what they described as both physically and emotionally abusive actions. Jennifer Willoughby, Porter's second wife, filed a protective order against him in 2010 and accused him of violating a separation agreement by entering into her home with a spare key after the two had been separated.

The New York Times reports that Willoughby asked him to leave, but he instead returned moments later and punched in the glass on the door and then tried to get back into the apartment, hoping that Willoughby could get him medical attention.

Willoughby then called local police. At that point, once Porter realized that his former wife was calling the police, it is alleged that he then apologized and began begging to not get the police involved with the situation.

Willoughby then called local police. At that point, once Porter realized that his former wife was calling the police, it is alleged that he then apologized and began begging to not get the police involved with the situation. 

Colbie Holderness, Porter's first wife, also has brought allegations against him. According to the New York Times, she described their relationship as "verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive." 

In her initial conversation with the Daily Mail, she also provided photos that were taken while the couple was together on vacation to Italy. The former wife is displayed with a blackened right eye and swollen cheekbone, which she claims were the result of physical abuse by her former husband.

“I took the photos given to the media nearly 15 years ago, and the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described,” Porter said in response to the allegations, according to NYT. “I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign.”

“My commitment to public service speaks for itself,” he continued. “I have always put duty to country first and treated others with respect. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have served in the Trump administration and will seek to ensure a smooth transition when I leave the White House.”

Trump's recent comments come as chief of staff John Kelly and other White House officials are facing heated questions about why they didn't act to remove Porter from his positions after they found out about the allegations of domestic abuse several months ago. 

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