Trump's undying support for men accused of abusing women

Trump's undying support for men accused of abusing women

Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that the President has "full faith" in Kelly and is not looking for a replacement. Trump and Chief of Staff John Kelly have been accused of failing to take the allegations of violence seriously and of protecting an abuser; on Saturday, Trump tweeted, "Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation". Kelly issued an initial statement Tuesday featuring effusive praise for Porter, and reports indicated that even as Porter was resigning, Kelly had urged him to stay on and fight. Porter denies the accusations.

The statement echoed Mr Trump's dismissive response to allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse made over decades against male friends, colleagues and, above all, himself. Kelly was aware of the allegations well before they were publicly disclosed. On Friday night, another senior West Wing staffer, speechwriter David Sorensen, also resigned, following allegations that he had physically assaulted and terrorised his ex-wife.

In the case of Sorensen, his former wife, Jessica Corbett, told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents conducting a background check on her husband that he had run over her foot while driving a auto and extinguished a cigarette on her hand during a turbulent 2 1/2-year marriage.

The White House declined to comment Wednesday when asked about Kelly's knowledge of the allegations against Porter.

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.

Kelly, meanwhile, said the only other indication he had that something could be wrong came in November, when he got an update on pending background investigations and learned "there was some things that needed to be looked into".

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"In talking with the President, I think he's saddened about what happened with Rob", Short told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

On Friday evening, the White House announced new posts for 31 officials, including elevating to acting staff secretary Derek Lyons, another Harvard Law School-educated lawyer, who formerly worked on Capitol Hill and had been Porter's No. 2. Short described Trump as "saddened", "disturbed", and "disappointed" by the Porter situation, and he said that the president believes Porter's resignation was the right move.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump would address massive crowds to chants of "lock her up", referencing his political opponent, Hillary Clinton.

This isn't the first time General Kelly has been rumored to be on his way out of the White House, but President Trump and the administration have consistently come out in support of the chief of staff.

While Trump didn't mention Porter or Sorensen in his tweet, many people assumed he was referring to these two ex-staffers, and were quick to respond. "He said very strongly yesterday that he's innocent", Trump said.

"That's like saying that ax murderer out there, he's a great painter", said former Vice President Joe Biden.

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