Second White House Staffer Resigns Over Domestic Abuse Claims

John Kelly who has faced criticism for initially defending Porter earlier this week was told in October that Porter had physically abused his two ex-wives

Senior White House officials, including Kelly, Joe Hagin, deputy chief of staff, and McGahn received word from the bureau that the allegations were credible and that Porter was not likely to pass his background check.

Reuters has not independently confirmed the allegations against Porter, or against Trump.

The Washington Post reported on Friday that Sorensen's former wife claimed he was violent and emotionally abusive during their two-and-a-half-year marriage, accusations that he denied, saying that she had in fact victimized him.

That represents a sharp break with past practice, in which White House counsels undertook elaborate vetting of senior advisers before they were hired - and looked into any serious allegations that surfaced thereafter.

"These outrageous allegations are simply false".

Trump said he was not aware of the claims before this week's news reports.

I have always put duty to country first and treated others with respect.

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White House staff secretary Rob Porter, a member of President Donald Trump's inner circle and arguably Kelly's closest aide, cleaned out his desk on Thursday.

Meanwhile, United States President Donald Trump, who has himself been accused of sexual harassment or assault by two dozen women, fueled the scandal by praising Porter and suggesting he had a bright future. "He said very strongly yesterday that he's innocent, but you'll have to talk to him about that".

Pressure is mounting on White House chief of staff John Kelly amid questions about his defense of a senior aide he fought to keep in a highly sensitive West Wing job despite accusations of spousal abuse from two ex-wives.

Trump's statement has sparked a sharp rebuke from Democrats like Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, who slammed the White House's "culture of misogyny". Trump and his aides have dismissed the allegations because the President has denied all of them.Trump first learned of the allegations against Porter on Tuesday ahead of the first story on the domestic abuse, Shah said.The President was "surprised", "disheartened" and "saddened" by the allegations Shah said, but did not see Porter as someone who could be guilty of such abuse."He, like many of us, did not see that in Rob Porter, did not see what these allegations have brought forward", Shah said. Porter has denied the allegations.On Thursday evening, to White House staff about domestic violence, writing, "While we are all processing the shocking and troubling allegations made against a former White House staffer, I want you to know that we all take matters of domestic violence seriously".

Trump has been privately complaining about Kelly and wondering whether to replace him, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

It is alleged Porter, 40, gave one ex-wife a black eye while another filed a restraining order.

The White House was already under scrutiny over its handling of Porter's departure who announced his resignation on Wednesday. "Of course, I was part of the background check and I was completely honest with what my experience of the marriage, including telling the police instances of abuse or police contact", said Willoughby.

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