White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter resigned last week amidst allegations that he physically assaulted two former wives. Porter was the person tasked with controlling the president’s schedule and the flow of papers to the Resolute desk.
Colbie Holderness, a senior analyst for the federal government, was married to Porter for five years. She alleges repeated physical and emotional abuse at his hands. The accusations come on the tail of a similar story from Porter’s second wife Jennifer Willoughby. Porter is accused of punching, kicking, and choking the women.
“I was his first wife and it wasn’t until there was a second wife and then a long-time girlfriend reaching out to me, who was experiencing some weird things. I started to realize that he keeps getting away with it. It’s a pattern now, it hasn’t gone away,” Holderness said to The Daily Mail.
Given the administration’s horrendous track record with its mistreatment and misbehavior towards women, it’s not particularly surprising that the White House seems to have known about the allegations against Porter and did nothing for so long.
CBS News reported that Porter was allowed to work for the administration this entire past year, despite the fact that they were warned of his alleged past behavior. Despite the fact that he was handling documents for the president, he was unable to get official security clearance because of the accusations and instead was given temporary clearance.
His resignation only finally occurred because photos of Porter’s ex-wives surfaced in which their faces had been brutally bruised.
Senior White House aide Rob Porter physically assaulted two ex-wives, they tell @theintercept. Full story to come in the morning.
His first wife, Colbie Holderness, provided these photos from a vacation they took together in Florence, Italy: pic.twitter.com/tl3TbyGA8Y
— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) February 7, 2018
Porter is just the latest member of the Trump team to be outted as a violent misogynist. The president himself has admitted to sexual assault on tape, been accused by numerous women of the same, and faced allegations that he raped a 13-year-old girl.
Last week, the president wished Porter well and a successful career, praised his work ethic, and pointed out that Porter claims he’s innocent. Once again, Trump aligned himself with the predator over the victims.
NEW: President Trump says former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter "says he's innocent and I think you have to remember that … we absolutely wish him well." Porter resigned from his role amid allegations of abuse https://t.co/qVQ3I4fZx3 (corrects quote) pic.twitter.com/ZfzHctl3S0
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 9, 2018
He also sent out a tweet over the weekend that seemed to a less-than-subtle defense of Porter.
Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. 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?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2018
Trump isn’t the only one under fire for Porter’s lengthy employment though. Chief of Staff John Kelly has insisted that he didn’t know about the accusations and that within forty minutes of getting the full story he promptly fired the Staff Secretary. Politico reported that Kelly’s comments seem to be false, saying that White House officials told them Kelly knew about the allegations for months at least.
Now, Kelly’s attempts to cover for himself have suffered a major setback. The Hill reports that FBI Director Christopher Wray, who Trump appointed to the job after firing James Comey, says that the FBI concluded its investigation of Porter in July but informed the White House of their findings in November and January.
“I can’t get into the content of what was briefed, what I can tell you is the FBI submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in March, and then a completed background investigation in late July. Soon thereafter we received request for follow-up inquiry and we did the follow-up and provided that information in November and then we administratively closed the file in January. And then earlier this month, we received additional information and we passed that on as well,” Wray said to the Senate Intelligence Commitee.
Wray insisted that the FBI conducted itself properly during the background check process for Porter, saying that the agents involved followed protocols that have been in place for decades.
It now appears that John Kelly has outright lied to the American people, demonstrating once again why this man — who has defended the traitor Robert E. Lee, called DREAMers lazy, and lied about a black congresswoman — does not belong anywhere near the White House. He must resign immediately.
The same goes for Trump, who it appears to have chosen to willfully keep a man accused of violent abuse of multiple women in his administration.