Rob Porter resigns from White House after ex-wives accuse him of abuse
White House chief of staff John Kelly, in a statement to the Daily Mail on Tuesday, defended Porter and said that he was proud to work alongside the former staff secretary.
White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned from his position on Wednesday after two of his former wives accused him of domestic abuse, reports state.
Porter is reportedly in a romantic relationship with White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, according to the Daily Mail.
Porter's second wife, Jennifer Willoughby, earlier this week told the Daily Mail that he physically abused her by dragging her naked out of a shower and calling her a "f***ing bitch" on their honeymoon.
"We were yelling in each other’s faces," Willoughby told The Intercept. "I disengaged and went to take a shower. Rob was not done fighting. He came to the shower and grabbed me by the shoulders and pulled me out of the shower to continue arguing."
Porter's first wife, Colbie Holderness, also accused him of abuse and said that it began during their honeymoon in 2003. According to her interview with CNN on Wednesday Holderness said that Porter allegedly kicked her and also hit her once during their trip to Florence, Italy in 2005.
"The thing he would do most frequently is he would throw me down on a bed and he would just put his body weight on me and he’d be yelling at me but as he was yelling he’d me grinding an elbow or knee into my body to emphasize his anger,” Holderness told CNN. She also alleged that Porter attempted to choke her once.
Porter, on Wednesday, released a statement denying the allegations 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 have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign."
"My commitment to public service speaks for itself. I have always put duty to country first and treated others with respect. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have served in the Trump Administration and will seek to ensure a smooth transition when I leave the White House," he added.
Porter worked as staff secretary under Chief of Staff John Kelly and was responsible for managing the flow of documents to President Donald Trump's desk.
Willoughby also alleged that Porter violated their separation agreement in 2010 — they married in 2009 — by visiting her residence and punching a window.
A copy of a temporary emergency protective order was also obtained by The Washington Post which stated that there was "reasonable grounds exist to believe that [Porter] has committed family abuse and there is a probable danger of a further such offense.”
General Kelly, in a statement to the Daily Mail on Tuesday, defended Porter and said that he was proud to work alongside the former staff secretary.
"Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor and I can’t say enough good things about him,” Kelly said. “He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him."
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Wednesday said that the president and Kelly had confidence in Porter and that the staff secretary's decision to resign from his position was "personal" and that "he was not pressured to do but that he made on his own."
The White House has known for a while about the troubling allegations that Rob porter physically and emotionally abused women — and did nothing until The Daily Mail published a story. https://t.co/qzQLKMqZJo— Ashley Parker (@AshleyRParker) February 8, 2018
The FBI reportedly had interviewed both the former wives of Porter's during his background check for security clearance. Both the women had reported the alleged abuse to the authorities, according to The Intercept.
If you have any views or stories that you would like to share with us, drop us an email at email@example.com