February 21, 2018

White House aide resigns after allegations of spousal abuse

08 February 2018, 01:10 | Kara Nash

Scandal Swirling Around Hope Hicks Right Now

Senior White House official to resign following allegations of abuse againt his ex-wives

According to the CBS and CNN reports, the Federal Bureau of Investigation told the White House in November about the domestic abuse allegations against Porter. "He had no idea about the accusations or about the details", said the source. That effort continues even after his resignation.

The first wife of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter has said in a new interview that while they were on vacation in Italy, Porter punched her in the face.

Meanwhile, as Trump's staff secretary has decided it's best to resign over allegations of violence, at least 19 women have accused the president himself of sexual misconduct, harassment or abuse. He was upset when shown reports of the abuse, which first emerged on Tuesday.

Porter added that he was grateful for the opportunity to serve in the Trump administration.

Both women said that they were interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of a screening process for Porter to obtain a security clearance, which he has not been granted. Porter was Hatch's top aide from 2015 to 2017.

Sanders declined to confirm Wednesday if Porter ultimately received a security clearance, citing the administration's restrictions on disclosing information on the status of any staffers' clearances. No action was taken to remove him from the staff.

Porter resigned soon after Wednesday's publication. It wasn't until last week that Kelly knew he had been twice married, this official said. And he was one of a select group of aides who shook Chinese President Xi Jinping's hand during a state visit to Beijing in November.

Porter blamed Holderness for his abuse of his second, according to Willoughby. "Domestic violence in any form is abhorrent and unacceptable".

For weeks, Donald Trump has been souring on his Chief of Staff John Kelly because of his controlling ways and rising public profile.

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Porter's first wife, Colbie Holderness, told the Daily Mail that he punched her on a trip to Florence in the early 2000s.

In a statement confirming his departure, Porter denied the allegations.

The Daily Mail had recently suggested he was in a relationship with Trump's communications advisor Hope Hicks.

She then read a statement from Porter, in which he said "these outrageous allegations are simply false".

Hatch wrote in a statement Wednesday that he was "heartbroken" by the allegations.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders described Porter as "someone of the highest integrity and exemplary character" in response to the allegations. "The president and chief of staff have full confidence in his abilities and his performance".

It is unclear when Porter will be leaving the White House. But by the next day, it was evident the show of support wouldn't quiet the controversy. According to one person briefed on internal White House conversations, Kelly let it be known he wanted to defend Porter publicly. But Porter resigned anyway, over Kelly's objections.

Porter said he will stay on his job long enough to aid with the transition.

Lawrence O'Donnell was paying attention, and he gave the people who tried to keep a person like Rob Porter employed at the White House, the contempt, scorn, and disgust that they deserved.

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