Second White House official resigns amid domestic violence accusations

Reince Priebus

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Fallout from the president's defense of Porter was swift with many taking to social media to denounce Trump's remarks because he did not bring up the ex-wives accusing Porter of abuse.

But he was supportive of his former staff secretary.

His first spouse, Ms Holderness, said the White House aide had been verbally and physically abusive. "We found out about it recently, and I was surprised by it, but we certainly wish him well, and it's a tough time for him".

"These outrageous allegations are simply false", Porter said on Wednesday.

Speechwriter David Sorensen was confronted by officials, White House says.

Trump's comments on Friday echo the strong support Porter received from the White House this week.

Porter resigned abruptly this week when the allegations of spousal abuse were made public, initially by the Daily Mail.

"Her colleagues have quietly accused her of looking out for Porter and not the White House, and she has been visibly upset in recent days as her personal life becomes a national news story", the report said.

His comments sparked criticism from Democrats, with former Vice-President Joe Biden saying Mr Trump had downplayed the allegations against Mr Porter.

Sorensen's departure follows former Staff Secretary Rob Porter's resignation on Wednesday after two ex-wives accused Porter of abuse during their marriages.

And at the eye of the storm is Kelly, whose efforts to defend his handling of all this are drawing skepticism even within the White House, amid reports that less than two years ago, Kelly was a character witness for a Marine court-martialed for sexual misconduct.

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A teary-eyed Omarosa told fellow " Big Brother " contestant Ross Mathews that her time in the White House was haunted by the president's tweets.

"If he (Trump) draws scrutiny to himself, he's OK with that".

Mr McGahn then told White House Chief of Staff John Kelly there was an issue with Mr Porter's security clearance, though he was vague, reports CBS.

Asked why he did not fight to keep his job, Sorensen said in a Facebook message: "I didn't want the White House to have to deal with this distraction".

He's the White House staff secretary who resigned after allegations emerged that he abused two ex-wives.

Hicks is one of the President's longest-serving White House confidantes, lasting through numerous campaign and White House shakeups. "The president and chief of staff have full confidence in his abilities and his performance", said spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

Porter, who was seen by many as Kelly's closest aide, cleaned out his desk Thursday.

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

In December, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders briefed reporters on Trump's views after three of his accusers called on Congress to investigate his past behavior.

Despite the accusations, he received interim security clearance to act as gatekeeper to the United States president.

Porter's background check had also never been completed.

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