Several White House staffers are under fire for allowing staff secretary Rob Porter to remain in his role despite notification from law enforcement of serious domestic abuse allegations.
Porter announced he would leave the White House Wednesday after a series of stories in the Daily Mail in which his ex-wive’s accused him of assault.
Rob Porter’s ex-wife tells me he constantly choked her, threw her on the bed and put his body weight on her using a limb, and in 2005, punched her face. Says she didn’t realize how bad the situation was until a counselor told her this was not OK. https://t.co/3Nn82078ZY pic.twitter.com/x6kLYq1pg7
— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) February 7, 2018
Porter denied the allegations via White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, saying, “These outrageous allegations are simply false. I took the photos given to the media nearly 15 years ago. And the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described. I’ve been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign.”
Criticism revolves around the White House’s nearly year long foreknowledge of Porter’s sordid past, sources told The Washington Post. The allegations by both ex-wives were told to the FBI during an investigation into Porter for his security clearance.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly initially defended Porter when the allegations came out calling him “a man of true integrity and honor and I can’t say enough good things about him. He is a friend, a confidante, and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him.”
Just a day later however Kelly issued a statement saying “I was shocked by the new allegations released today against Rob Porter. There is no place for domestic violence in our society. I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that I have come to know since becoming Chief of Staff, and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation.”
White House communications director Hope Hicks is also under fire for her role in drafting Kelly’s initial statement defending Porter. Hicks is reportedly in a romantic relationship with Porter.
Multiple media outlets now report that Porter will leave the White House this week.