President Trump on Saturday seemed to frame the downfall of a pivotal aide accused of abusing his wives as a character assassination, adding to the tumult that has engulfed the White House, splintered staff, and imperiled chief of staff John Kelly. Trump vented in a tweet that appeared to take aim at the #MeToo movement and echoed his own denials of sexual impropriety in the face of accusations from more than a dozen women. "Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation," Trump wrote, per the AP. "Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused - life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?" His response also reflected his growing discontent with Kelly, once hailed for bringing discipline to the West Wing but recently at the center of his own controversies.
Kelly has said he found out only Tuesday night that the accusations against Rob Porter were true and he was gone immediately. That clashes with the White House's Tuesday night statement of support for Porter from Kelly. The chief of staff said Friday that the decision was made before photos of one of Porter's ex-wives with a black eye were published. The president's tweet came a day after he set off a firestorm when he wished Porter well in his future endeavors. "He said very strongly yesterday that he's innocent," Trump said. Routinely, Trump has accepted claims of innocence from men facing similar allegations, including Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reilly and Roy Moore. "That's like saying that axe murderer out there, he's a great painter," said former Vice President Joe Biden. On Friday, a second White House staffer, speechwriter David Sorensen, resigned over abuse allegations.