The White House issued a statement Monday that Donald Trump offers his support to domestic violence victims, after he was criticized for sympathetic public statements about a former aide who submitted his resignation last week following allegations that he abused two former wives, Bloomberg informs.
“The president and the entire administration take domestic violence very seriously and believe all should be investigated thoroughly,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated in a briefing with reporters. “Above all, the president supports victims of domestic violence and believes everyone should be treated fairly and with due process.”
The president has not mentioned anything about the abuse victims after the allegations revealed last week that forced Staff Secretary Rob Porter to resign from his post.
Sanders was flooded with questions about the White House’s handling of Porter, who resigned last week after his former wives’ accounts were released by the DailyMail.com and The Intercept. In a belligerent briefing with the reporters, she read a statement voicing concern for domestic violence victims that she later mentioned had been dictated by the president himself and described a new timeline leading up to Porter’s resignation.
Sanders said that the White House “learned of the extent of the situation” on Tuesday evening “and within 24 hours his resignation had been accepted and announced.”
“We announced a transition was going to happen and within hours did it,” she stated.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who has come under internal and external criticism for his personal management of the situation, told his subordinates on Friday to circulate a narrative that he took action to remove Porter within 40 minutes of learning that the abuse allegations were credible. His evidence, one person familiar with the matter said, was a photo The Intercept made public showing one former wife, Colbie Holderness, with a black eye she said had been inflicted by Porter.
Kelly sent a letter to the White House employees following the incident to allay staff concerns, saying “we all take matters of domestic violence very seriously. Domestic violence is abhorrent and has no place in our society.”
Sanders stated Monday that “a conversation took place within 40 minutes” of the White House “knowing the allegations,” but didn’t elaborate.
An Intercept reporter posted that photo on Twitter Tuesday evening before the publication’s full report was published Wednesday morning.
Porter said in a statement at about 1:42 p.m. Wednesday afternoon that he would submit his resignation but remain at the White House to “ensure a smooth transition.”