Trump’s White House staff secretary, Rob Porter, resigned Wednesday after he was accused of physical and emotional abuse by two of his ex-wives.
The resignation came shortly photos of the bruised and battered face of his first wife, Colbie Holderness, 37, a senior analyst for the U.S. government, surfaced online.
The abuse allegations became public after the Daily Mail reported Porter was dating White House communications director Hope Hicks, one of Trump’s closest aides. The Mail reported that according to his first ex-wife, Porter choked and punched her during their marriage, breaking down her confidence so badly with his verbal and emotional abuse that she took an extended leave of absence from grad school.
Holderness spoke on the record to DailyMail.com about her five-year marriage to Porter, detailing physical and mental abuse.
Colbie’s revelations followed a DailyMail interview on Tuesday evening with Porter’s second wife, Jennifer Willoughby, who told how Porter, 40, once dragged her wet and naked out of the shower and was verbally abusive, calling her a f***ing b***h’ on their honeymoon.
In 2010, Willoughby filed a protective order against Porter after he violated their separation agreement and refused to leave their apartment. According to a complaint filed with the police, he punched the glass on the door to their home, cutting his hand in the process.
Holderness revealed to DailyMail.com that she was interviewed by the FBI – as was Willoughby – about her marriage after Porter was tapped for his current White House position as White House staff secretary and required security clearance – clearance which he has not received.
John Kelly, Chief of Staff, commented: ‘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.’
But first wife Colbie says that the Porter is ‘a bit of a monster’ and has displayed a pattern of abuse with women.
‘I was his first wife and it wasn’t until there was a second wife and then a long-time girlfriend reaching out to me, who was experiencing some weird things. I started to realize that he keeps getting away with it. It’s a pattern now, it hasn’t gone away.’
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At this point the mess was complete and Porter decided to resign: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders read a statement from Porter at the daily press briefing on Wednesday minutes after multiple news outlets reported he had resigned:
“These outrageous allegations are simply false. I took the photos given to the media nearly 15 years ago and the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described. I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign.”
“My commitment to public service speaks for itself. I have always put duty to country first and treated others with respect. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have served in the Trump Administration and will seek to ensure a smooth transition when I leave the White House.”
According to The Hill, Sanders said Porter’s exit would not be “immediate” so he could help usher in a replacement. She said Porter “was not pressured” to resign and that he made the decision to leave “on his own.”
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The abuse allegations became public after the Daily Mail reported Porter was dating White House communications director Hope Hicks, one of Trump’s closest aides. Last week, the Daily Mail revealed that Porter, who is Mormon, and White House Director of Communications Hope Hicks are dating, and were seen kissing in a cab on the way back to her apartment from a bar.
Porter’s departure is a major blow to the White House staff. He was a member of chief of staff John Kelly’s inner circle and was responsible for the paper flow to President Trump’s desk. He frequently traveled with Trump aboard Air Force One and was seen as helping carry out Kelly’s efforts to bring order to a chaotic West Wing.