comscore White House response to abuse claims shines light on victims’ fears | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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White House response to abuse claims shines light on victims’ fears

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President Donald Trump, joined by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, left, Vice President Mike Pence, second from left, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, right, speaks to the media as he arrives at the Pentagon. When Jennifer Willoughby first stepped forward to tell the story how she was physically, emotionally and psychologically abused by her ex-husband, who had since become a top aide to President Donald Trump, the White House sent a clear message: We don’t believe you. Instead, officials offered effusive support for her accuser.

WASHINGTON >> Rob Porter was a top White House aide by the time his two ex-wives stepped forward to tell the story of how they were abused by their ex-husband.

Porter resigned on Wednesday, and the allegations were “outrageous” and “simply false.”

Even after the women came forward, President Donald Trump had nothing but good things to say about Porter.

Trump’s chief of staff defended Porter on Tuesday as “a man of true integrity and honor” and “a friend, confidante and trusted professional.”

By some accounts, Trump’s counsel had been apprised of some accusations about Porter at least four times, including as early as January 2017.

The White House response serves as a high-profile illustration of the obstacles many women face in speaking out about their abuse.

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