Ever since the disgusting behavior and actions of Harvey Weinstein were revealed, the nation’s been awash in claims of sexual harassment and abuse. Numerous high profile celebrities, politicians, and media members have exposed in the process and there are no signs that this crusade is stopping anytime soon.
As reported in the New York Post, the latest person facing such allegations is a top aide in the Trump administration, White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter.
Porter has been accused of domestic violence by his two ex-wives, however, he maintains their “vile” claims are merely “a coordinated smear campaign.”
The two women, Colbie Holderness and Jennifer Willoughy, both went on the record with the Daily Mail in recent days — with Holderness revealing photos of a black eye claims Porter gave her back in 2005.
Obviously, such a picture proves nothing, but to keep from being a distraction to the administration, Porter has handed in his resignation while claiming the reality of the images is “nowhere close to what is being described”
“These outrageous allegations are simply false,” he said. “I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign.”
Holdness, 37, Porter’s first wife, claims he choked and punched her during their five-year marriage.
“He would throw me down on the bed, then put his full body weight on top of me, then grind a knee or elbow into my body, expressing rage,” she told the Mail.
Both of the women say that when the FBI came to them for his White House background check last year, they reported his abusive actions. According to the Daily Mail, “sources” told them that the agency had denied him security clearance due to his “dark past.”
Despite these sudden and very serious allegations, the White House has expressed confidence in Porter, as Chief of Staff John Kelly, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee, and Porter’s former boss Sen. Orrin Hatch all offering glowing character references.
“It’s incredibly discouraging to see such a vile attack on such a decent man,” Hatch told the Mail. “Shame on any publication that would print this — and shame on the politically motivated, morally bankrupt character assassins that would attempt to sully a man’s good name.”
Kelly and others apparently urged him to “stay and fight” instead of resigning.
It’s impossible to know what’s true anymore when it comes to these issues. The primary question here is why wait a decade to say something about the alleged abuse? Also, since they were divorced, it seems likely that in order to extract the most out of it, these claims would have been brought up and on record, but it doesn’t appear that wither mentioned them during their respective divorces.
The timing of all this is suspect, and considering how solidly officials are standing by Porter, it seems they not only know him well enough to make such a judgment, but also that they may know more about this sudden attack than what’s been publicly revealed.
Regardless, the allegations have already done their job. They’ve tainted a man’s reputation and caused him leave an excellent job that will be very difficult to match.
Source: New York Post