- President defended Porter on Friday and wished him well after he was forced out over domestic violence accusations
- But he had already told confidants on Thursday that Porter was ‘bad garbage’ and likely a wife-beater
- On Monday a White House spokesman claimed Trump has clearly said domestic violence is ‘deplorable and disgusting’
- ‘He hasn’t said that!’ responded a ‘Fox & Friends’ co-host
- ‘Right,’ the Trump aide conceded
The White House can’t decide whether to publicly slam fired aide Rob Porter over domestic violence claimed by his two former wives.
And it starts at the top.
President Donald Trump told reporters Friday in his only public statement on the episode that he was ‘surprised’ and made ‘sad’ by the allegations, ‘but we certainly wish him well. It’s obviously a tough time for him. … we hope he has a wonderful career.’
Privately, however, the president has blamed Porter for creating a crisis for the administration. He told one confidant during a phone call Thursday that Porter was ‘bad garbage,’ according to The New York Times.
Axios reports that Trump called Porter ‘sick’ behind closed doors after DailyMail.com published the ex-wives’ accounts of suffering long-term physical abuse.
And he believes the women, despite not mentioning either of them on Friday as reporters listened and camera shutters clicked.
Colbie Holderness told DailyMail.com that Porter choked and punched her during their marriage, while Jennifer Willoughby said he dragged her wet and naked out of the shower and was verbally abusive.
The Porter saga is quickly developing into a full-scale crisis for the Trump administration as questions swirl about who in the White House knew about his past – and when.
Monday on ‘Fox & Friends,’ a program the president watches religiously, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley was asked why Trump won’t condemn Porter publicly.
‘I don’t know if he is going to say that publicly or not, and I’ve not spoken with the president about this,’ Gidley responded, claiming moments later that ‘the president has been very clear that all forms of abuse, all forms of battery against women are deplorable and disgusting.’
‘He hasn’t said that!’ responded co-host Brian Kilmeade.
‘Right,’ Gidley conceded, ‘but he hasn’t – you haven’t talked to him today. Obviously he’s said that multiple times in the past.’
‘I have talked to the president about issues surrounding this type of behavior, and he finds it disgusting,’ the Trump spokesman said.
Cornered on the president’s widely panned performance on Friday, Gidley again insisted that ‘the president has been out against domestic violence for a long time.’
‘He didn’t – in the oval office, the thing you are probably talking about – he was asked specifically about Rob Porter. The president deplores – thinks that domestic violence is grotesque.’
Multiple senior White House officials defended Porter last week, even after DailyMail.com published gruesome photos of a black eye Porter’s first wife said was a result of him punching her.
And the White House’s press team, according to Axios, said some senior officials urged Porter not to resign, but instead ‘to stay and fight.’
On Friday Trump cautioned reporters that Porter ‘says he’s innocent.’
A day later he tweeted that ‘[p]eoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?’
Aides told some reporters on Sunday that Trump meant that tweet as a commentary on the saga of longtime friend Steve Wynn, who has resigned from the company he built following accusations of sexual harassment.
Source: Daily Mail UK
Featured Image: Patch
Inset Image: AP Photo/File