As White House Domestic Violence Scandal Spirals, Trump Supports Accused Abusers

HeadlineFeb 12, 2018
 h02 whitehouse abuse resignation

President Trump continues to defend members of his administration who are resigning amid serious accusations of domestic violence and abuse. On Friday, White House speechwriter David Sorensen resigned after his ex-wife, Jessica Corbett, told The Washington Post he had physically abused her during their short marriage, including by putting out a lit cigarette on her hand and running over her foot with a car. His resignation comes after senior aide Rob Porter resigned as staff secretary last week, after two of his ex-wives accused him of verbal and physical abuse.

On Saturday morning, President Trump tweeted, “Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused–life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?” President Trump also said he wishes Porter well, speaking from the Oval Office on Friday.

President Donald Trump: “He said very strongly yesterday that he’s innocent. So, you’ll have to talk to him about that, but we absolutely wish him well. Did a very good job while he was at the White House. Thank you very much, everybody.”

On Sunday, Porter’s second ex-wife, Jennie Willoughby, published a powerful Time magazine essay in which she addressed Trump’s comments, writing, “[W]hen Donald Trump repeated twice that Rob declared his innocence, I was floored. … My friend turned to me and said, 'The President of the United States just called you a liar.' Yes. And so he did.”

President Trump himself has been accused of sexual assault or harassment by at least 16 women. Senior White House officials—including Chief of Staff General John Kelly—knew for months that the FBI had heard testimony from Porter’s ex-wives about the verbal and physical abuse. But on Sunday, Porter told the news outlet Axios that White House officials had encouraged him to “stay and fight” the accusations rather than resign.

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