Trump’s White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter has resigned after two stories emerged from ex-wives detailing years of physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. Porter, who denies the allegations, is dating White House communications director Hope Hick.
White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter has resigned. The top aide to President Trump stepped down following allegations of abuse from his two ex-wives.
He denied the allegations, but stepped down anyway.
First Wife’s Abuse Claims
Colbie Holderness, 37, who works for the U.S. government as a senior analyst, recently spoke about her five-year marriage to Porter and the physical and mental abuse she allegedly endured.
“He was never physical with me while we were dating and now I see there were red flags, left and right. He was verbally abusive and emotionally abusive all during that time, which I understand now, and we were fighting a lot.”
Adding, “He would belittle me constantly about my weight, my sexiness, how good I looked to him or didn’t look to him.”
The first time Porter, who is Mormon, allegedly got physical with Holderness was on their honeymoon, just after they arrived in the Canary Islands.
“It was a really odd thing that he did. He was angry because we weren’t having sex when he wanted to have sex and he kicked me,” she said. “It was a kick which, although it hurt, was ridiculous at the same time. That was the first time he hurt me and then the doors opened. I didn’t do anything and it continued.”
The violence escalated to the point where Porter would allegedly choke his wife.
“It was not hard enough for me to pass out but it was scary, humiliating and dehumanizing,” she said.
Holderness, who is also Mormon, went to “a secular counsellor” at her workplace and told him what was going on. He told her “that what was happening was not okay.”
A couple years after they’d gotten married, the couple went on vacation in Florence, Italy. There, Holderness says that Porter punched her in the face.
“We were arguing and he punched me in the face. He left visible marks when he punched me and I have pictures of that. 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 did move out several times because of the abuse. We spent big chunks of our marriage apart. I would keep going back until enough was enough. I could feel myself slipping away as a person.”
Second Wife’s Abuse Claims
Jennifer Willoughby, Porter’s second wife shared similar stories, saying she was walking on eggshells during their marriage because of his explosive anger. They were married from 2009 to 2013.
On their honeymoon at Myrtle Beach, Porter is alleged to have verbally abused her, calling her a “f**king b**ch.”
“I can’t remember what triggered it,” she said, “He accused me of not caring about him or not caring about his needs.”
Willoughby says she spent the rest of the honeymoon trying not to upset Porter.
It went from bad to worse. She started seeing a therapist in early 2010, just months after marrying Porter.
“I started seeing a therapist and requested that Rob see a therapist because I was so distressed about his anger,” she revealed.
In February or March 2010, the couple separated. On June 19, 2010, she filed a protective order against Porter because he violated their separation agreement at the time, and would not leave their apartment.
Porter is currently dating White House Communications Director Hope Hick.
Porter Isn’t without Supporters
There are many in Washington coming to Porter’s defense.
Rob Porter previously worked for Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch, Rob Portman and Mike Lee.
Hatch issued a statement supporting Porter, calling the reports a “vile attack” and a “cynical campaign to discredit his character.”
John Kelly, White House chief of staff, echoed Hatch’s sentiment: “Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor and I can’t say enough good things about him. He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “I have worked directly with Rob Porter nearly every day for the last year and the person I know is someone of the highest integrity and exemplary character,”
His last day in the White House has not been announced. The president’s Twitter account has been silent on the issue so far.