White House Aides Try and Fail to Fix Trump's Rob Porter Problem
White House Aides Try and Fail to Fix Trump's Rob Porter Problem
Trump Doubles Down On His Defense Of Rob Porter: 'Lives Are Being Shattered By A Mere Allegation'
12 February, 2018, 01:43
Porter resigned from his post at the White House on Wednesday amid abuse allegations from two ex-wives.
Aides' attempts to explain the defensive response from Trump and Kelly only raised more questions.
When Jennifer Willoughby and Colbie Holderness stepped forward to tell the story of how they were physically, verbally and emotionally abused by their ex-husband, who had since become a top White House aide, President Donald Trump had nothing but good things to say about the man they had accused of domestic violence. Trump's staff secretary called the allegations from his former spouses "outrageous" and "simply false".
Speier feels Trump's lack of defense of victims runs contrary to the momentum behind more people speaking out against violence against women.
Vice President Mike Pence, striking a markedly different tone than Trump, said in an interview Friday on MSNBC that "there's no tolerance in this White House and no place in America for domestic abuse". "We immediately confronted the staffer, he denied the allegations and he resigned today", Shah said.
And that's really what matters in this White House. "He said very strongly yesterday that he's innocent", Trump said.
"In point of fact, 2 ex-wives talking on the record to journalists and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and one ex-girlfriend on background, with a photo of a black eye and a police report, is not 'a mere allegation, '" Tapper said in a tweet quoting Trump's original.
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And many, including the president himself, have turned their ire on Kelly for vouching for Porter's character and falsely asserting that he had moved aggressively to oust him once his misdeeds were discovered.
It also drew an inflamed reaction, as people took to social media to note that Mr Trump used similar arguments to defend Roy S Moore, the Republican candidate who lost his bid for an Alabama Senate seat after being accused of child predation, and Bill O'Reilly, the disgraced TV personality who, along with his former employer, Fox News, paid tens of millions of dollars to settle sexual harassment claims. CNN's Jake Tapper tweeted back: "In point of fact, 2 ex-wives talking on the record to journalists and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and one ex-girlfriend on background, with a photo of a black eye and a police report, is not 'a mere allegation'".
Until hours before the Harvard graduate left his post, the White House was praising him as an upstanding and integral member of staff.
Sorensen has denied the allegations. He added that it reminds people there are dozens of people working in the White House without full security clearance.
Kelly, meanwhile, said the only other indication he had that something could be wrong came in November, when he got an update on pending background investigations and learned "there was some things that needed to be looked into". Most West Wing offices remained dark.
In June 2016, Trump faced widespread backlash for alleging that US District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was then overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University, had "an inherent conflict of interest" due to his Mexican heritage and calling for his recusal in the case.
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