Trump praises ex-aide Rob Porter accused of domestic abuse

President Trump speaks with White House secretary Rob Porter and Sen. Mike Lee R-Utah outside the White House in December. Porter resigned this week amid allegations of domestic violence against his ex-wives

President Trump speaks with White House secretary Rob Porter and Sen. Mike Lee R-Utah outside the White House in December. Porter resigned this week amid allegations of domestic violence against his ex-wives

Trump then went on to remind reporters that Porter is denying all allegations made against him.

"I found out about it recently and I was surprised by it", Trump said.

"We wish him well", he said in his first public remarks on the claims against ex-White House staff secretary Rob Porter.

Porter told him about the allegations because he was concerned that what he characterized as false charges from aggrieved women who were out to destroy him could derail his Federal Bureau of Investigation background check, according to one of the two people briefed on the matter.

Porter was staff secretary to the president, a position with wide authority over schedule and information flow to the Oval Office. "We hope that he will have a wonderful career".

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The emerging timeline illustrates the degree to which Porter, a clean-cut and ambitious former Rhodes scholar and Harvard-educated lawyer, concealed troublesome episodes from his past that would normally be considered disqualifying for a senior White House aide.

According to CBS News, Mr Porter approached White House Counsel Don McGahn in January 2017 to inform him his ex-wives might say unflattering things about him to background check investigators.

It is unclear exactly how many White House officials are still operating with interim security clearances and incomplete background checks, but at least one-high profile administration member definitely is - President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser to the president Jared Kushner.

Hicks, perhaps Trump's most trusted aide, had helped craft the response to the scandal as White House communications director, despite being romantically involved with Porter.

Porter has denied the allegations of domestic abuse and says he is the victim of a smear campaign.

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Shah said Kelly was not "fully aware" of the alleged spousal abuse until Wednesday, when he saw the pictures of Holderness with a black eye.

Porter's second wife, Jennie Willoughby, received a temporary emergency protective order in Arlington in June 2010 after saying Porter refused to leave her residence, in violation of their separation agreement. Kelly - who first learned of the domestic violence allegations against Porter months ago - issued a glowing statement of support for Porter's personal character after the allegations first surfaced publicly Tuesday and privately urged him to remain on the job until the next day when his resignation was announced.

The unnamed woman was reportedly seeking advice on how to leave Mr Porter, but said she was afraid of him.

The NBC sit-down was not the first time Pence was asked about Porter. Willoughby and Holderness said they gave interviews only after being contacted earlier this week by reporters for the Daily Mail and the Intercept asking about a blog post Willoughby wrote in April that described spousal abuse but did not name Porter.

Staff secretary Rob Porter said in a written statement that allegations that became public this week are "outrageous" and "simply false".

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