Washington (AFP) – US President Donald Trump voiced his disdain for domestic violence Wednesday, breaking a weeklong silence since the departure of a top aide accused by two ex-wives of physical abuse.
“I’m totally opposed to domestic violence and everybody here knows that,” a visibly annoyed Trump told journalists in the Oval Office.
“I’m totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind. Everyone knows that and it almost wouldn’t have to be said. So now you hear it, but you all know.”
Trump had responded to the departure of top White House aide Rob Porter, who resigned in disgrace last week over domestic abuse allegations, with questions about whether the Harvard graduate was getting a fair shake.
“Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation,” he tweeted, fueling a firestorm of criticism.
“Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?”
Porter was fired after two former wives came forward with allegations that he had abused them during their marriage. A photograph showed one of the women with a black eye.
The scandal has been deepened by the White House’s shifting accounts of when top officials learned of the allegations and why Porter had access to the Oval Office and highly sensitive documents without having a security clearance.