White House: Trump 'shocked' by domestic abuse claims against ex-aides

President Donald Trump defended his former aide Rob Porter on Friday following accusations that he physically abused his ex-wives, calling his departure "very sad" and that "we hope that he will have a wonderful career".

His two ex-wives said they spoke to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during its standard background check on the White House official who was seeking a government security clearance for his high-level position.

Once photos emerged showing Porter's ex-wife with a badly bruised face, Mulvaney said, "he was gone nearly immediately".

She added that Trump also retains confidence in communications director Hope Hicks, a long-serving aide under scrutiny for her role in the White House response to spousal abuse allegations against former staff secretary Rob Porter, with whom she had a romantic relationship.

That's why Maloney says he wants the Porter investigation to include a review of Chief of Staff Kelly.

Before Porter, we most recently saw him do it with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. Moore, you may remember, gave a very weak half-denial of numerous claims against him in a disastrous interview with Sean Hannity and ultimately lost the election. He said the White House is "very stable, very quiet".

Conway said the Kelly's job was not in jeopardy over his handling of the matter.

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"The president tells me he learned when the rest of us did", she said, "the pictures, the police reports, the information provided to the Federal Bureau of Investigation". While I may understand President Trump and [Chief of Staff] Gen. [John] Kelly's incredulity at such a counter-image of their golden boy, I do not condone their choice to support him.

As for any staff fallout, speaking to ABC's George Stephanopoulos on This Week, Conway quickly pushed aside any speculation that she was being eyed to replace Kelly as chief of staff.

"The reality is he's not a monster", she said.

Willoughby had written about her abuse before, though she had not identified her former spouse by name. Multiple women came forward in 2017 to accuse Moore of sexual harassment or assault, with several women saying he pursued them when they were in their teens when he was in his 30s and 40s.

Asked about Trump's tweet on Saturday that lives were being "shattered and destroyed" by allegations that are sometimes false, Conway told CNN's "State of the Union" that there was "no reason not to believe the women". "That Colbie Holderness is a liar", Willoughby wrote referring to Porter's first wife, who also accused him of abuse. Such long-standing social biases play into victims' reluctance to share their stories. "It's not surprising that he doesn't believe survivors or understand the national conversation that is happening". He has also insisted upon his own innocence in the face of allegations of sexual misconduct from more than a dozen women.

Vice President Mike Pence, striking a markedly different tone than Trump, said in an interview Friday on MSNBC that "there's no tolerance in this White House and no place in America for domestic abuse".

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