Hatch takes again help of Trump aide Rob Porter

09 February, 2018, 01:56 | Author: Laverne Higgins
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Rob Porter, the White House staff secretary, announced his resignation on Wednesday, a day after his two ex-wives accused him in interviews of physical abuse when they were married to him.

Jennifer Willoughby, Porter's second wife, documented the abuse she says she received in a blog post.

'It's not a matter of "believe" or "don't believe",' she told DailyMail, straddling both sides of what had become a heated dispute between a trusted colleague and the women who claimed he abused them.

Mr Porter said photos published of his former spouses - in which one appears to have a black eye - were "given to the media almost 15 years ago and the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described". Pictures were published showing her bruises from the alleged assault. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she had not discussed the allegations against Porter with Trump.

The White House had sent out several statements Tuesday evening supporting Porter, and officials coordinated one with Porter's former boss, Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah.

'In every interaction I've had with Rob, he has been courteous, professional, and respectful.

'The country needs more honest, principled people like Rob Porter, which is why I hope that this cynical campaign to discredit his character ultimately fails'. She said Porter was not pressured to resign.

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

"Rob Porter has been effective in his role as staff secretary".

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Porter was an influential aide in the White House who vetted everything that made it to the president's desk.

A former chief of staff to Hatch, Porter joined the White House at the beginning of Trump's administration, though he wasn't well-known to the President like other top West Wing staffers.

The DailyMail.com published a statement from Kelly referring to Porter as a "man of true integrity and honor and I can't say enough good things about him".

Mr Porter said photos published of his former spouses were taken almost 15 years ago and did not tell the complete story. "I am proud to serve alongside him", Kelly said in a statement.

Two sources with knowledge of the situation tell CBS News the Federal Bureau of Investigation informed the White House in November about the domestic abuse allegations against Porter.

Both Holderness and Willoughby said they were contacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation a year ago and interviewed regarding Porter's security clearance. Kelly in particular viewed Porter as a right-hand man who would impose his system of order even in his absence.

Porter was seemingly omnipresent in the Oval Office for key meetings and events, and he regularly traveled with the president - often being one of only a handful of aides to have the privilege of accompanying him on the Marine One helicopter before joining the larger staff entourage aboard Air Force One.

A person familiar with West Wing dynamics said Porter has expressed interest in an elevated policy role over the past weeks, beyond the position he now holds. Trump has damaged the presidency to such a degree that the Rob Porter story doesn't get the full attention that it deserves.

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