Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Medical | By Jackie Banks

Second W House aide resigns over domestic abuse claims

Second W House aide resigns over domestic abuse claims

Former White House staff secretary Rob Porter told associates that officials at the White House encouraged him to "stay and fight" rather than resign after a report detailed allegations of domestic abuse, Axios reported Sunday.

According to The Post's Philip Rucker and Josh Dawsey, Kelly told staff Friday to say that he had chose to fire Porter within 40 minutes of learning that allegations Porter abused two ex-wives were credible.

Trump said he was saddened by the charges but pointed out that Porter has denied the accusations.

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. Shah also repeatedly declined to get into specifics about how much the White House knew past year about the allegations against Porter.

Among those to react with anger was Democratic Senator Patty Murray, who responded by saying that women's lives were affected every day by sexual violence and harassment.

One of Mr Porter's former wives, Jennifer Willoughby, obtained a restraining order against him, while the other, Colbie Holderness, presented a photograph of herself with a black eye, which she said came from being hit by Mr Porter while the couple was on vacation in Italy. When the allegations emerged against Porter, who downplayed the claims from two ex-wives, a number of senior aides rallied around him, and the White House acknowledged that personal relationships may have played a role in their response.

The allegations of domestic abuse against Porter first came to light Tuesday. After Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was arrested and charged with assaulting a female reporter, Trump asked, "How do you know the bruises weren't there before?"

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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.

The glowing praise of a staff member accused of serial violence against women was in line with the president's own denials of sexual impropriety despite accusations from more than a dozen women and his habit of accepting claims of innocence from men facing similar allegations. Public pressure is one thing, but the White House has often proven itself to be impervious to it, through any number of highly controversial episodes that might have torn apart a previous administration.

Trump's tweet also struck a nerve with people who noted that assault survivors have their lives "shattered", too.

Sorensen has denied the allegations.

Kelly went on to say that he had learned of Porter's true situation less than an hour before he removed him from his job. Most West Wing offices remained dark.

"We immediately confronted the staffer, he denied the allegation and he resigned today", Shah said in a statement.

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