Friday, 23 February, 2018

Trump fumes after disgraced aides resign over abuse claims

John Kelly who has faced criticism for initially defending Porter earlier this week was told in October that Porter had physically abused his two ex-wives John Kelly reportedly said he was willing to resign over the Rob Porter scandal
Johnnie Parks | 11 February, 2018, 06:40

But he has not offered to resign, according to a White House official who was not authorized to discuss personnel matters publicly and spoke Friday on condition of anonymity. Moore denied the allegations. White House communications director Hope Hicks, CBS News has confirmed, is dating Porter, although it's unclear when she became aware of the allegations.

Mr. Trump didn't mention anyone specific in the tweet, which came after accusations of abuse against two now-former aides.

Trump responded to Porter's resignation on Friday by telling reporters in the Oval Office that Porter maintained his innocence. Kelly clearly mishandled the way he dealt with Porter and the way he issued contradictory White House statements.

His apparent inclination to sympathize with men whose professional lives may be harmed by accusations, rather than with any of the accusers, contrasts with Vice President Mike Pence's strongly worded reaction to the Porter allegations.

The president, for his part, has not signalled to allies that he is on the verge of making a change.

For years, Trump has also promoted the conspiracy that former President Barack Obama is a Muslim who was actually born in Kenya and is lying about his identity.

He added, "It should be able to focus on continuing President Trump's historic accomplishments for the American People". Trump is known to frequently poll his advisers about the performance of senior staff and is often reluctant to actually fire aides.

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The White House response serves as a high-profile illustration of the obstacles many women face in speaking out about their abuse.

Democratic swiftly called for an investigation into Porter's presence at the White House. It should be a wake-up call, that going forward, it will be held accountable for condoning unacceptable behavior among its own ranks.

Toni Van Pelt, head of the National Organization for Women, was more direct.

In his statement, Sorensen that "I was the victim of repeated physical violence during our marriage, not her".

Chief of staff John Kelly is under fire for his handling of Porter's departure. Trump named Derek Lyons acting staff secretary to replace Porter. In Thursday's briefing, Shah outlined the background check procedure, which is run by the federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies and was still underway for Porter. He denies the allegations. And they've come amid White House finger-pointing about who knew what, and when, about the severity of the spousal abuse allegations. Willoughby said Porter called her, angry he had not yet received his security clearance, after she spoke to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. And what if one of those men filed a police report and received a restraining order against him, as Willoughby did? "You matter. You are enough".

"The general is there to put in policies and processes and procedures".

AP reporters Darlene Superville and Juliet Linderman contributed.

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