Controversy over former aide accused of abuse roils White House

Just hours earlier, White House speechwriter David Sorensen became the second staffer to step down in a week after his ex-wife, Jessica Corbett accused him of physically abusing her during their two-and-a-half-year marriage.

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short made similar arguments on NBC's "Meet The Press" on Sunday, after host Chuck Todd showed a highlights reel of Trump suggesting numerous allegations of sexual abuse and physical assault by powerful men against women were false. "And the emerging reports were not reflective of the individual who we had come to know". "We certainly wish him well".

In June 2016, Trump faced widespread backlash for alleging that US District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was then overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University, had "an inherent conflict of interest" due to his Mexican heritage and calling for his recusal in the case.

Shah said that Trump was not aware until Tuesday of the accusations against Porter, who was a frequent presence in the Oval Office and helped craft last week's State of the Union address.

It's not surprising that Trump would defend Porter, given that Trump has been accused of sexual assault by 14 women and has been recorded bragging about grabbing women by their genitals.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment on the letter.

Kelly sent an email to White House staff on Thursday making clear that the White House had a clear stance on domestic abuse.

Though the Federal Bureau of Investigation never revoked Porter's security clearance - which it could have - questions were raised about how Porter could be granted access to state secrets with such potentially incriminating blackmail material hanging over his head.

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks in the Oval Office of the White House this month. Washington Post
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks in the Oval Office of the White House this month. Washington Post

"Before we were contacted by the media, we learned last night that there were allegations", Shah said.

Another thing that's less than ideal: having a White House spokesman have to go on the record denying that the chief of staff offered his resignation, or expressed a willingness to resign.

The Washington Post first reported the allegations against Sorensen and his resignation.

Sorensen told WaPo in a text message that he resigned because "didn't want the White House to have to deal with this distraction".

Trump continued to side with Porter in a tweet Saturday morning. By the time the president was fully briefed of the claims against Porter on Wednesday, the once-rising White House star had already resigned, according to the official.

"Forty minutes later he was gone", Kelly said.

Mr McGahn told the White House chief of staff there was an issue with Mr Porter's security clearance, although he was vague, reports CBS.

In a column for the Hollywood Reporter, Wolff wrote: "With Melania a nonpresence, the staff referred to Ivanka as the "real wife" and Hicks as the "real daughter". "And literally that was it". In recent weeks, the president has complained about the chief of staff to his circle of informal advisers, according to two people who speak to the president regularly but are not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations. Porter denies the allegations against him. But people both inside and outside the White House have been eager to sing her praises, describing Hicks as fiercly loyal to Trump and highly effective at reading his moods. In addition to Mulvaney, the others are House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Mark Meadows and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

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  • Adam Floyd