Published: Fri, February 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

White House aide Rob Porter resigns amid allegations of domestic abuse

White House aide Rob Porter resigns amid allegations of domestic abuse

Colbie Holderness, Porter's first wife, and Jennifer Willoughby, Porter's second wife, both said their ex-husband's consistent abuse was the reason for their respective divorces.

Staff secretary Rob Porter said in a statement the allegations were "outrageous" and "simply false".

The accusations were first reported in the Daily Mail and include accounts of physical and emotional abuse.

Porter's defenders say Kelly didn't know the full details because Porter's background check was never completed. Willoughby goes on to mention multiple incidents where Porter called her a "f***ing b****" under his breath in public settings, including on their honeymoon in Myrtle Beach. Holderness said there she was punched once by Porter, while they were on vacation in Florence, Italy. Holderness provided photos of injuries including a black eye. He was often seen at events, and would often present the president with bills to sign.

A top White House official is stepping down after reports from his ex-wives that say he was emotionally and physically abusive, according to the Washington Post. She said she got a protective order because he punched in the glass on the front door while she was locked inside, per The Intercept.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders described Porter as "someone of the highest integrity and exemplary character" in response to the allegations. He said the photos were taken almost 15 years ago, and that the "reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described".

The Intercept published a separate report stating that the Federal Bureau of Investigation interviewed the wives while conducting a background check on Porter for a security clearance.

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"As has always been our policy, we do not comment on security clearances".

The official, Rob Porter, served as the staff secretary, functioning as Chief of Staff John Kelly's chief enforcer in their shared mission to instill discipline and order in what had become a chaotic West Wing. "The president and chief of staff have full confidence in his abilities and his performance".

Porter, a graduate of Harvard Law School and a Rhodes scholar, previously worked for Republican Senators Orrin Hatch, Rob Portman and Mike Lee.

On Wednesday night, NBC's Frank Thorp spoke to Hatch again, who said he would prefer for Porter not to resign, but instead to just "work his way through and do what's right". "In every interaction I've had with Rob, he has been courteous, professional, and respectful", Hatch said.

A top aide to President Trump resigned Wednesday following allegations of domestic violence from his two ex-wives - but maintained their "vile" claims were merely "a coordinated smear campaign". "I am praying for Rob and those involved".

A source familiar with the two statements said the White House started collecting statements of support for Porter on Tuesday because they knew the allegations were going to be published.

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