White House Aide Resigns After Ex-Wives Say He Abused Them

Rob Porter denies the allegations
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2018 4:13 PM CST
White House Aide Resigns Over Domestic Violence Allegations
President Donald Trump's Chief of Staff John Kelly, left, White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, center, and White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter, right, arrive at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Rob Porter resigned as White House staff secretary Wednesday in the wake of reports he physically abused two ex-wives. USA Today states Porter "is an important gatekeeper to the Oval Office," and Politico calls him "mostly unknown but deeply influential," noting he spends nearly every day with President Trump. The allegations of domestic violence against Porter were reported by the Daily Mail. Colbie Holderness, who married Porter in 2003, says the abuse started on their honeymoon. "He was angry because we weren’t having sex when he wanted to have sex and he kicked me," she says. She says the abuse escalated from there to punching and choking. She gave the Daily Mail a photo of herself with a black eye. Jennifer Willoughby married Porter in 2009 and says he verbally abused her during their honeymoon for "not caring about him or his needs" and once dragged her out of the shower.

White House senior staff met Tuesday night to plan their defense of Porter, with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later saying the White House has "full confidence in his abilities" and chief of staff John Kelly calling Porter "a man of true integrity and honor." Kelly had known about a protective order Willoughby filed for while still married to Porter; the order prevented Porter from getting full security clearance. Porter denied the allegations in a statement, calling them "outrageous," "vile," and "simply false." Sanders says his resignation "was a personal decision" and he wasn't pushed out by the White House. Porter says he will remain at the White House until a successor is named "to ensure a smooth transition." (More domestic violence stories.)

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