Top White House Aide Rob Porter Resigns After Domestic Abuse Accusations

“He is going to be leaving the White House,” says White House press secretary Sarah Sanders

Last Updated: February 7, 2018 @ 1:41 PM

A senior aide to President Donald Trump resigned on Wednesday after accusations from two former wives who said he was physically abusive during their marriages.

Rob Porter had served as staff secretary to President Trump, and had been one of his closest West Wing aides.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the news during the daily White House press briefing Wednesday.

“He is going to be leaving the White House,” said Sanders. “He is resigning from the White House but is going to stay on ensuring there is a smooth transition moving forward.”

Sanders also read a statement from Porter denying all charges:

“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.”

Once a fixture at the highest level of U.S. power, Porter saw his career swiftly unravel after his first wife, Colbie Holderness accused him of domestic violence, including punching her in the eye while on an Italian vacation in 2005. According to Axios, senior Trump advisers, including Chief of Staff John Kelly urged Porter “to stay and fight.”

The Intercept published a copy of the image, which was provided to the FBI.

The news was first reported by the Daily Mail. 

Porter’s second wife, Jennifer Willoughby, detailed her abuse on her website. 

“The first time he called me a “f–ing b–h” was on our honeymoon. (I found out years later he had kicked his first wife on theirs.) A month later he physically prevented me from leaving the house,” she wrote.

“Less than two months after that, I filed a protective order with the police because he punched in the glass on our front door while I was locked inside. We bought a house to make up for it. Just after our one year anniversary, he pulled me, naked and dripping, from the shower to yell at me.”

In a statement provided to the Daily Mail, Chief of Staff John Kelly stood by Porter.

‘Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor, and I can’t say enough good things about him,” said Kelly. “He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him.”

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