Second Trump admin official resigns after allegations of domestic abuse

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"That's what President Trump does when it comes to abuse and assault by men of women".

The White House official said that staffers felt misled about how Porter downplayed the allegations, both to Kelly and McGahn.

The Post interviewed two friends and associates of Corbett who said that she had told them about the abuse at the time. Communications Director Hope Hicks, who was dating the staff secretary, helped draft the original statements defending him, according to three current and former White House officials. Porter's ex-wives went to the Daily Mail and the Intercept, not to some Enquirer-type scandal sheet.

Vice President Pence also seemed to draw a tougher line against the former staff secretary than Trump did, telling NBC's Nightly News he was "appalled" by the allegations against Porter.

Staff secretary Rob Porter, one of the president's closest aides, resigned Wednesday after the publication of allegations that he'd abused his two ex-wives.

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"He says he's innocent, and I think you have to remember that", Trump said. That background makes it very, very hard for Trump to lead the country from a moral perspective - even if he wanted to.

"We should not short-circuit an investigation just because allegations are made, " he said.

In Porter's case, believing that his exes are lying requires believing that they independently told similar stories to the Federal Bureau of Investigation - and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as we're all now very aware, is a crime - or that they've been colluding all along on a vendetta against their ex-husband but for some reason have only now gotten around to blowing him up even though he's been working at the White House for months. He later added that "it was very sad when we heard about it".

Talking to reporters in the Oval Office, Trump mentioned twice that Porter says he's innocent.

Speechwriter David Sorensen resigned from his position Friday after he was confronted about the allegations, the White House said. Both women said they had told FBI investigators about the alleged abuse as part of the security clearance process that Porter was still undergoing.

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One current and one former United States official said the backlog could indicate that there are remaining questions or obstacles from the intelligence community and law enforcement conducting the review. "You have also refused requests to obtain documents regarding the security clearances of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, his son Michael Flynn Jr., Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner, and others".

Those efforts appear to have succeeded for months, at least in part because of the willingness of a virtually all-male staff in the top echelons of the West Wing to believe a talented male colleague over women they had never met.

Sorensen's departure adds to the ongoing headache for the White House and amplifies questions about how thoroughly it not only vets staff but also takes claims of domestic abuse.

White House counsel would be notified of a possible suitability issue - but it is unclear what or how much they would be told. A dismissal of Kelly would surely revive the narrative of a White House in crisis as it faces the ongoing Russian Federation probe and the midterm elections.

President Trump said Friday afternoon he was surprised and saddened by allegations of domestic violence against a top aide who resigned this week.

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