Donald Trump defends aide accused of beating ex-wives

Donald Trump defends aide accused of beating ex-wives

Donald Trump defends aide accused of beating ex-wives

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

Porter's background check was never completed and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly allegedly learned weeks ago that Porter would be denied a full clearance over his history of domestic abuse. "Now, he also says he's innocent, and I think you have to remember that ... but we absolutely wish him well".

Meanwhile, top White House officials including Chief of Staff John Kelly are facing scrutiny for not removing Porter when senior aides for months were aware of the allegations.

This is a developing story and will be updated. Despite calling the allegations "simply false", Porter soon announced his resignation from the administration, and the chief of staff then released a second statement. It's obviously a tough time for him, ' Trump said.

In an interview with CNN, Porter's ex-wife Jennifer Willoughby detailed allegations of abuse, saying that during her marriage she lived under a "low-grade constant terror of not knowing what I might do to set something off".

The position put him in close contact with the president and required a security clearance but Porter, a Harvard Law School graduate, had not yet been approved for security clearance because the required background check was still ongoing.

Hicks, perhaps Trump's most trusted aide, had helped craft the response to the scandal as White House communications director, despite being romantically involved with Porter.

"I don't think that he has really taken the time to deconstruct why it is that he behaves this way, and until he is able to do that, I don't know that he has control over it", she told Cooper.

White House staff secretary Rob Porter- seen here walking to Marine One in with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Senior Adviser Jared Kushner- has stepped down over allegations of domestic abuse made by his ex-wives (AFP
Donald Trump defends aide accused of beating ex-wives

Trump said the episode "is very sad" and "certainly he's also very sad".

On Wednesday morning, after photographs surfaced overnight showing one of Porter's ex-wives with a black eye, Kelly privately stood by Porter and urged him to stay in the job, White House officials said at the time. Both women said that they informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation in January 2017 of their allegations while they were being interviewed by agents as part of Porter's security clearance review.

Some complained that Donald McGahn, the White House counsel, who learned in January 2017 that Porter had been accused by two ex-wives of abuse, had not been forthcoming enough about what he knew.

"The difference between 690,000 and 1.8 million were the people that some would say were too afraid to sign up, others would say were too lazy to get off their asses, but they didn't sign up", Kelly said, according to reporters who were there.

Porter had been a rare staffer inside the White House who knew Washington, was widely respected and was seen as good at his job.

Kelly issued a statement after the allegations were first published by the Daily Mail on Tuesday, vehemently praising Porter as a "man of true integrity and honor". But Porter remained in his role, delivering all manner of information straight to the president's desk until he resigned this week.

"I found out about it very recently and I was surprised by it".

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