The first words from Trump today on the departure of his former staff secretary Rob Porter accused of domestic abuse do not mention or express any sympathy for the women who came forward. According to CNN, Trump said
“I found out about it recently and I was surprised by it. We certainly wish him well. It’s obviously a very tough time for him. He did a very good job while he was in the White House. We hope that he will have a wonderful career… it was very sad when we heard about it.
He says he’s innocent, and I think you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday that he’s innocent, but you’ll have to talk to him about that.”
Trump’s comments come as chief of staff John Kelly and other top White House officials are facing questions about why they did not act to remove Porter from his position after they found out about the allegations of domestic abuse.
Senior aides reportedly knew for months about the allegations by Porter’s ex-wives. Porter denied the allegations but resigned on Wednesday.
Kelly praising Porter’s character and it wasn’t until the uproar over the allegations grew and more details surfaced that Porter resigned. Kelly finally issued a second statement expressing concern about the allegations.
Trump has also grown upset with his White House communications director Hope Hicks, who despite being in a romantic relationship with Porter helped craft the White House’s initial pushback to the allegations.
As usual satirist Andy Borowitz nailed Trump’s response in a New Yorker headline,
“Trump Gives Wife Beater Praise He Usually Reserves for Child Molesters and Nazis”
Jennie Willoughby, Porter’s ex-wife, spoke with CNN’s Anderson Cooper at length yesterday about the alleged abuse.
(Photo, YouTube; via CNN)