Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

A Second White House Staffer Has Resigned Over Domestic Abuse Allegations

A Second White House Staffer Has Resigned Over Domestic Abuse Allegations

Pressure is mounting on White House chief of staff John Kelly - including reports he's willing to resign - amid criticism of his handling of domestic abuse allegations against now-former staff secretary Rob Porter, even as President Trump praised the exiting aide.

The cause of Sorensen's exit is similar to that of Porter, whom ex-wives accused of physically abusing them.

Porter had been operating without top security clearance, but had access to classified material, since he joined the White House in January 2017, because the Federal Bureau of Investigation had learned of credible allegations of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives. Sorensen was a former top policy adviser to Maine GOP Gov. Paul LePage.

At some point that day, The Daily Mail posted an interview with Porter's first wife, who also said that she was abused during their marriage.

Mr Kelly sent a memo to staff late on Thursday saying that "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 very seriously". The FBI refused to grant him a full security clearance as a result-so why was he given such an important and top-level job in government? The president "did not express any sympathy for the women Porter allegedly abused - instead pointing to Porter's claim that 'he's innocent, '" CNN reports. The Intercept published a picture of the black eye she says Porter gave her while the two were on vacation.

"We certainly wish him well, and it's a tough time for him", Mr Trump said in the Oval Office.

Not to add insult to injury, but Porter has also been reportedly dating White House Communications Director Hope Hicks.

Mere decades ago, domestic violence was seen as a private family issue, not a public concern.

Porter has denied the accusations from both of his ex-wives.

On Friday, President Donald Trump called Porter's departure "very sad" and said he wishes the ex-staffer "well".

The Porter crisis has damaged Kelly's credibility not only publicly but also inside the White House, where officials said he was losing the support of some West Wing staffers because of his management of the situation and apparent lack of transparency. He cited the 690,000 official DACA registrants and said that President Donald Trump effectively raised that number to include 1.8 million people.

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

What's worse, however, is that Kelly didn't just learn of Porter's abuse as early as the fall of 2017 and allow him to remain on board. "I didn't go the police because I was scared, I was in Italy alone and I didn't know what to do", she said.

"I can't say enough good things about him", Kelly wrote. "There is no place for domestic violence in our society", Kelly said in the second statement.

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