The ex-wife of a former Trump administration official accused of domestic violence wrote that she was “floored” when President Donald Trump seemingly implied she made up the allegations, lamenting that the president’s response would ripple through society’s understanding of abuse and discourage other victims from coming forward.
Former White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned last week after accusations of abuse from two of his ex-wives surfaced, including photographs of his first wife with a black eye allegedly caused by Porter.
Porter denied the accusations but nonetheless offered his resignation.
Trump, in an encounter with reporters days later, praised Porter and emphasized his claims of innocence without any mention of his alleged victims.
“When Donald Trump repeated twice that Rob declared his innocence, I was floored. What was his intent in emphasizing that point?” Jennifer Willoughby, Porter’s second wife, wrote in an op-ed for Time magazine published over the weekend. “My friend turned to me and said, ‘the president of the United States just called you a liar.’ Yes. And so he did.”
Hogan Gidley, a White House deputy press secretary, said Monday on Fox & Friends that “the president has been out against domestic violence for a long time” and that “the president deplores, thinks that domestic violence is grotesque. He’s said that on multiple occasions and there’s no place for it in this country. There’s no place for it in this White House, and the president won’t stand for it.”