White House Says Donald Trump 'Shocked' By Allegations Against Aides

White House Says Donald Trump 'Shocked' By Allegations Against Aides

Officials say White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, left, in November with then-White House aide Rob Porter, continues to have the faith of President Trump after spousal abuse allegations led Porter to resign.

Willoughby went on CNN Thursday expressing fear for Porter's reported girlfriend, White House communication director Hope Hicks.

"I think the president, like the rest of us, were shocked and disturbed by the allegations", Conway said on ABC's "This Week".

"That dynamic leaves many simply unwilling to consider the possibility that he has engaged in acts of violence, and when people aren't willing to imagine that, the easiest thing to do is disbelieve the woman making these allegations", Martin said.

Yet Trump made no mention of the ex-wives of the two former staffers, or of the alleged abuse, and his response has drawn widespread criticism from his opponents.

This fits a pattern with Trump: to side with the men accused of abusing women as long as they maintain their innocence - and however weakly they maintain it.

Several women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct before he assumed office, claims he dismisses as lies. "I don't walk around the White House wondering, 'Who is this person really?' And we work in very close quarters together, and we're trying, as just small pieces of this, to do good for the country". And in 2016, she claims, Porter's new girlfriend reached out to her saying their relationship was emotionally abusive and asked if Willoughby had had similar experiences with him.

Porter's ex-wives detailed the allegations to the Federal Bureau of Investigation over the course of a routine background check, they told CNN.

'He wanted me to reemphasize to everyone ... that he has full confidence in current chief of staff General John Kelly and that he's not actively searching for replacements, ' Conway said. In June 2010, Porter's second wife, Jennie Willoughby, filed an emergency protective order against Porter, whom she says dragged her naked from the shower.

Willoughby also says she disclosed the abuse to the Federal Bureau of Investigation as they reviewed Porter for a potential security clearance - a clearance that the New York Times says was reportedly delayed due to claims from both women - and there have been conflicting reports as to who in the administration knew about Porter's past and when.

"The president tells me he learned when the rest of us did", she said, "the pictures, the police reports, the information provided to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, we're all trying to process that".

However, Short told "Meet the Press" that Kelly had not offered his resignation, and Conway told CNN anchor Jake Tapper that Kelly's job is not in jeopardy.

"He's up to his neck in it", Maloney said of Kelly, "and he chose not to deal with it". "The guy's never going to get a national security clearance and yet every day he's reading our nation's top secrets and could've been blackmailed".

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney - who also denied being considered to replace Kelly - said Trump was inclined to give someone he had worked with "the benefit of the doubt".

In an interview on "Fox News Sunday", Mulvaney said talk of Kelly's departure is "much ado about nothing".

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