WH response to abuse claims shines light on victims' fears

12 February, 2018, 01:43 | Author: Jeffery Armstrong
  • David Sorensen

Sorensen is the second White House official to resign over domestic abuse allegations in days-with staff secretary Rob Porter resigning Wednesday after being accused of physically abusing two of his ex wives. Showing little regard for the #MeToo movement, he has followed a pattern of giving the benefit of the doubt to powerful men and insisting upon his own innocence in the face of allegations of sexual misconduct from more than a dozen women.

Porter's abrupt departure raised questions about how long it took Trump's team to act on the accusations.

Critics have lambasted the president's apparent cynicism regarding each of the women's claims, especially since one of Porter's accusers has even provided the press with photographs of bruises she says she suffered at the hands of the former staffer. Shah also repeatedly declined to get into specifics about how much the White House knew previous year about the allegations against Porter.

Trump made no mention last week of the women specifically and offered no general condemnation of domestic violence.

Conversations have been going on last week among White House staffers as to what a "post-Kelly world looks like", a source familiar with these discussions said, with Mulvaney seen as a leading contender to eventually replace Kelly. He said he hopes Porter has a "great career ahead of him" and that he did a "very good job" during his tie serving in the White House.

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But his suggestion in private that he would be willing to step down if the president wanted him to reflected the degree to which the scandal surrounding Porter has engulfed the White House, touching off a bitter round of recriminations that could result in a shake-up at the highest levels. "We immediately confronted the staffer, he denied the allegations and he resigned today", Shah said.

Sorensen resigned this week after being accused of domestic abuse by his ex-wife.

"He says he's innocent, and I think you have to remember that", Trump said.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand from NY, who has come out strong in criticism of the Trump administration, said if due process is what the president wants, then that should also apply to the more-than dozen accusations of sexual assault that have been made against him.

Porter's departure, along with Kelly under fire, could deprive the West Wing of some of its steadier hands and anxious some staffers that the sense of order that appeared to have been installed in recent months could evaporate.

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Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation.

Many White House senior staff members remained stunned by the accusations against Porter, a well-liked and seemingly mild-mannered graduate of Harvard and Oxford.

Sorensen has denied the allegations.

"But the irony for Kelly may be that the credibility that makes him a singular asset in this White House may have been irreparably damaged by his work in it". Most West Wing offices remained dark. Porter has denied those allegations, calling them "outrageous allegations are simply false".

"We're all saddened by this", Short said.

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