White House Under Fire for Defending Top Aide Accused of Domestic Violence

Rob Porter is the latest in Trump’s orbit to face abuse allegations

Tom Williams/ZUMA

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A senior White House aide resigned on Wednesday amid allegations from his two ex-wives, who each have accused him of domestic abuse.

The staffer, Rob Porter, denied the accusations, which were detailed in a Daily Mail story that included photos showing one of his former wives with a black eye. He claimed her allegations were “outrageous” and “simply false.” 

The Porter story quickly expanded to include White House chief of staff John Kelly’s fierce defense of Porter, who held the position of White House staff secretary, an important post, with one key duty being controlling the flow of documents presented to the president. “Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor and I can’t say enough good things about him,” Kelly said in a statement to the Daily Mail. “He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him.” 

Politico reported that Kelly had known about an emergency protective order that had been filed by Porter’s second wife. 

Many contrasted Kelly’s effusive praise for Porter with his recent disparaging comment that some Dreamers were “too lazy to get off their asses.”

The Intercept reported Wednesday that the FBI knew about the domestic abuse allegations against Porter when it conducted a routine background check on him before he began working at the White House. Porter’s history of domestic abuse reportedly blocked him from receiving a full security clearance. This has prompted questions regarding why Kelly still permitted Porter to handle sensitive information and be a gatekeeper for the information landing on the president’s desk.

Porter is the fourth Trump associate–after Steve Bannon, Cory Lewandowski, Andy Puzder—to face abuse allegations. Of course, Trump himself has been accused of abuse and sexual harassment.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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