Trump aide resigns after spousal abuse allegations - Taipei Times
Fri, Feb 09, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Trump aide resigns after spousal abuse allegations

AP, WASHINGTON

White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter, center, hands US President Donald Trump, second left, a document at the White House in Washington on Jan. 20 last year, as Vice President Mike Pence, left, looks on.

Photo: Reuters

One of US President Donald Trump’s top White House aides resigned on Wednesday following allegations of domestic abuse leveled against him by his two ex-wives.

Staff secretary Rob Porter said in a written statement that allegations that became public this week are “outrageous” and “simply false.”

Porter said photographs published of his former spouses — in which one appears to have a black eye — were “given to the media nearly 15 years ago and the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described.”

“I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign,” he added in a written statement.

Porter said he would leave the White House after a transition period.

Porter’s former wives recounted physical, verbal and emotional abuse they say he subjected them to during their marriages.

Porter’s first wife, Colbie Holderness, told DailyMail.com that Porter choked and punched her during the five years they were husband and wife.

Porter’s second wife, Jennifer Willoughby, also described for DailyMail.com how Porter once dragged her naked and wet from the shower to yell at her.

She filed a protective order against him.

Stories included photographs of Holderness with a bruised eye socket that she said she suffered after Porter punched her in the face while on vacation in Italy.

Porter, 40, has been credited with working with White House chief of staff John Kelly to control the flow of information to the US president.

His influence growing, Porter was often seen with Trump when the president traveled and as he signed legislation or proclamations.

He helped craft Trump’s State of the Union address and was credited for helping bridge divides in a White House riven by rivalries.

DailyMail.com published a statement from Kelly referring to Porter as a “man of true integrity and honor.”

“I can’t say enough good things about him,” Kelly said. “He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him.”

Porter, well-liked throughout the White House, lost internal support once the photographs came out, but even then Kelly was urging him to stay, said a White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Late on Wednesday, Kelly released a statement claiming the “new allegations” had swayed him.

“I was shocked by the new allegations released today against Rob Porter. There is no place for domestic violence in our society,” Kelly said. “ I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that I have come to know since becoming chief of staff and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation.”

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