Hatch supports ousted Trump aide amid domestic abuse allegations

Ruben Ruiz
February 9, 2018

White House officials knew about the allegations of domestic abuse levied against staff secretary Rob Porter by two of his ex-wives months before the Daily Mail reported about it Tuesday, but scrambled to cover it up in an attempt to keep him on staff, CNN reports.

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

"These outrageous allegations are simply false", Porter said in a statement.

"I've been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign".

His first wife, Colbie Holderness, told the DailyMail.com Mr Porter choked and punched her during the five years they were husband and wife. "I took the photos given to the media almost 15 years ago".

The news site on Wednesday also posted pictures of Holderness with a bruised right eye, which she alleges was the result of Porter punching her during a trip to Florence in the early 2000s.

CNN reports that Porter's last day employed at the White House is unknown, but that Sarah Huckabee Sanders said he will stay on to help his successor transition. "I am praying for Rob and those involved".

'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'.

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She said that Porter's repeated physically abusive behavior also included throwing her on the bed and forcefully pushing one of his limbs into her body in anger and choking her. The staff secretary is responsible for paper flow to the president, a particularly crucial job for a commander in chief who likes to get his own information from other sources.

An aide to the senator told CNN that the original Tuesday statement, which the White House sent to reporters on Wednesday along with other statements of support for Porter, no longer applied.

Porter's role was under-the-radar, and Trump himself remained largely unfamiliar with him for weeks before his role was explained. Porter is one of the few senior White House staffers with past government experience, having served as chief of staff to Sen.

Neither Porter nor Hicks were present in a Wednesday morning senior staff meeting, a White House official said.

According to CBS News, the White House was informed about the abuse allegations in November during a background check.

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. "I am proud to serve alongside him", the statement from Kelly read.

By early fall, it was widely known among Trump's top aides - including chief of staff John Kelly - both that Porter was facing troubles in obtaining the clearance and that his ex-wives claimed he had abused them. Kelly in particular viewed Porter as a right-hand man who would impose his system of order even in his absence. Under President Barack Obama, the role was downgraded to a "deputy assistant to the president" title.

Other reports by GizPress

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