President Donald Trump broke his silence about the resignation of Staff Secretary Rob Porter after his ex-wives accused him of abuse.
During an event at the White House, Trump told reporters he was “very sad” by the news and reminded reporters that Porter claimed innocence.
The president said:
We found out about it recently, and I was surprised by it, but we certainly wish him well, and it’s a tough time for him. He did a very good job when he was in the White House. And we hope he has a wonderful career and he will have a great career ahead of him. But it was very sad when we heard about it, and certainly, he’s also very sad now. He also, as you probably know, says he’s innocent, and I think you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday that he’s innocent, so you have to talk to him about that, but we absolutely wish him well. He did a very good job when he was at the White House.
Porter resigned on Wednesday. Details of the story have been the focus of cable news for four days, as new details emerge about how top officials reacted.
Porter’s ex-wife, Jennifer Willoughby, did an interview with Today‘s Savannah Guthrie on camera Friday morning and called him “verbally and emotionally abusive.” Colbie Holderness, Porter’s first wife, released photos of herself with a black eye that she said Porter caused by punching her in the face.
Others questioned the judgment of White House chief of staff Gen. John Kelly for initially defending Porter before he resigned.