Ex-wife says Rob Porter asked her to 'downplay' posts describing abuse

US White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter resigns after domestic abuse allegations

Rob Porter gives Donald Trump a document as former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus looks on. | Jonathan Ernst Reuters

However, the language changed on Wednesday night after Porter announced his resignation.

Rob Porter - the influential White House staff secretary who you've likely never heard of before - is resigning.

But White House officials were nonetheless slow to condemn Porter.

Experts on the security clearance process used for White House staffers said the hiring of top aide Rob Porter raises serious questions of how it is being handled in the Trump Administration.

"I was shocked by the new allegations released today against Rob Porter". "There is no place for domestic violence in our society", Kelly said in the statement.

"But, you know, this was a Rob Porter that I and many others have dealt with, that Sarah had dealt with, that other officials including the chief of staff had dealt with, and the emerging reports were not reflective of the individual we had come to know". Porter and Kelly later discussed the allegations.

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Shah also refused to give details about whether Trump communications advisor Hope Hicks - who was reportedly dating Porter - was involved in shaping the White House response to the scandal. McGahn was again warned about Porter by Porter's ex-girlfriend late previous year, as POLITICO first reported on Wednesday.

The accusations of abuse were first reported in the DailyMail.com and include accounts of physical and emotional abuse. Kelly, meanwhile, was Porter's loudest defender, including in the first hours after the graphic photos of alleged abuse emerged.

The episode is another staffing embarrassment for Trump and may threaten Kelly's standing in the White House.

Willoughby said, "I don't remember the exact wording [he wanted me to use] but something along the lines that the post does not accurately depict my marriage".

Some White House aides were particularly disturbed by the photo The Intercept published of Holderness with a black eye.

In an interview with CNN aired Thursday Porter's ex-wife Jennifer Willoughby detailed allegations of his abuse, saying that during her marriage she lived under a "low-grade constant terror of now knowing what I might do to set something off". She took out the protective order against him in after he allegedly violated a separation agreement and punched through glass in the door of their home, cutting himself.

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Since Porter's resignation on Wednesday, when the White House was still circulating statements praising the White House aide, the administration has acknowledged that they handled the situation poorly.

"I don't think that he has really taken the time to deconstruct why it is that he behaves this way, and until he is able to do that, I don't know that he has control over it", she said. She rejected Porter's public assertions that the claims were part of a "coordinated smear campaign" against him. According to White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah, the investigation into his background had not yet been completed, although he had been in the job for more than a year.

Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, garnered scrutiny for failing to disclose foreign contacts on his form, a list of omissions that included former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition.

Porter is now in a romantic relationship with White House communications director Hope Hicks, who helped draft responses to the allegations against Porter, the Post reported.

Porter frequently traveled with the president, worked closely with Chief of Staff Kelly to manage the flow of information to the President Trump's desk and played a key role in writing the State of the Union address that President Trump delivered last week.

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