Trump's confidantes explain the confounding reason Trump won't fire John Kelly

Katrina Barker
February 10, 2018

The White House staff secretary who resigned following allegations of domestic abuse has put a spotlight on "incredibly common" patterns of violence against partners, experts say. Trump denies all the accusations and the White House's official position is that all the women who have accused Trump of misconduct are lying. Willoughby alerted investigators September 22 that she had received a call from Porter the previous day, demanding to know whether she had used the word "violent" with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to describe his behavior.

The White House officials told Hatch's office that the story was the product of a "smear campaign" being orchestrated against Porter by his political enemies.

"It's important to remember that Rob Porter has repeatedly denied these allegations, and done so publicly".

Porter acknowledged taking 15-year-old photos of the ex-wife with a black eye, but "the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described".

Trump was reportedly "surprised" and "disheartened" to hear the news.

Jennifer Willoughby spoke in depth about the emotional, mental and on at least one occasion physical abuse she allegedly endured over the course of her relationship with Porter, who on Thursday spent his last day at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah on Thursday called the allegations "troubling" and insisted White House officials took them seriously while suggesting that any missteps in their response were because the "emerging reports were not reflective of the individual who we had come to know".

It's not clear that either McGahn or Kelly knew the full extent of the allegations or that they included spousal abuse, but the best possible explanation is that they seemed to have a real lack of curiosity.

That Marine colonel, Todd Shane Tomko, was the former commander of the Marines' Wounded Warrior Regiment, but according to his defense attorney and to Chief of Staff Kelly and other character witnesses at his court-martial, he had spiraled rapidly as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder. "He wants to see us move from a process now existing in law, of extended family chain migration, towards merit-based legal immigration reform", Shah said.

On that call, Porter asked Willoughby to downplay the allegations of abuse she was making against him, a request that she did not honor before publishing her post, entitled Why I Stayed. In a blog post, Willoughby said Porter cursed at her on their honeymoon and a month later "physically prevented me from leaving the house".

Both women also told CNN Wednesday that a third woman, a girlfriend of Porter's, contacted them for advice about how to deal with Porter's "repeated abuse".

In his resignation statement, Porter said "these outrageous allegations are simply false".

The White House has pushed back against allegations of sexual harassment and assault by President Trump himself. "Your ability to explain that he was not just some frightful person and you were not just a victim, was very accurate and left me in tears".

Porter's title understates his significance in the White House.

President Trump was not aware of Porter's security clearance status, Shah said, and didn't find out about the allegations against Porter until Tuesday evening.

Willoughby took out a temporary protective order in 2010, which according to the Post said that "reasonable grounds exist to believe that [Porter] has committed family abuse and there is probable danger of a further such offense". Shah added that Kelly retained the president's confidence. When Porter resigned on Wednesday, Kelly offered only a glowing statement of the senior aide.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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