How many of you saw this coming? Amid allegations from abuse from his TWO ex-wifes, White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter resigned today.
Allegedly, a White House official said senior officials including Chief of Staff, John Kelly, were trying to convince Porter “to stay and fight.”
- Porter’s first wife, Colbie Holderness, alleged in an interview published Wednesday by the Daily Mail that he kicked her on their honeymoon, progressing to choking and punching her in the face. She provided pictures that were published with the story.
- Porter’s second wife, Jennifer Willoughy, told the Daily Mail earlier this week that he pulled her naked from the shower shortly after their first anniversary, and that he was verbally abusive. The Daily Mail also obtained a police complaint from 2010 of Porter allegedly punching the glass on a door at their home, which led to her filing a temporary protective order.
- Willoughy told the Daily Mail that the FBI had interviewed her, along with Holderness. The Daily Mail claimed sources told them that Porter’s “dark past” was the reason for his failure to secure security clearances.
Background: Porter and Kelly were in charge of reviewing all information before it reached President Trump. Porter served as Sen. Orrin Hatch’s chief of staff before entering the White House.
Porter had good relationships across the ideological spectrum of the White House — from Stephen Miller to Gary Cohn, was one of Kelly’s most trusted aides and was in charge of the weekly trade policy meetings. As I reported in January, he had been receiving overtures from big companies and groups that wanted to poach him from the White House.
Kelly and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Porter on Tuesday:
- Kelly on Porter: “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.”
- Sanders on Porter: “someone of the highest integrity and exemplary character.”
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.”
But something just doesn’t add up.
His first wife Colbie Holderness 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.’
Colbie Holderness, 37, who is a senior analyst for the U.S. government, spoke on the record to DailyMail.com about her five-year marriage to Porter, detailing physical and mental abuse.
She said he broke down her confidence so badly with his verbal and emotional abuse that she took an extended leave of absence from grad school.
In 2010, Jennifer Willoughby – Porter’s second ex-wife – filed a protective order against him 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.
And Porter’s first ex-wife, Holderness, revealed to DailyMail.com that she was interviewed by the FBI – as was Willoughby – about their marriage after Porter was tapped for his current White House position as staff secretary. Porter required a security clearance – which he has not received.
Colbie, whose maiden name is Paulson, met Porter at a Mormon church in 2000 while she was attending Wellesley to double major in American studies and political science. Porter was attending Harvard to study government.
Her first impressions were that he was ‘charming and charismatic.’
‘Rob is very intelligent – that’s what drew me to him,’ she said. ‘We had a mutual interest in government and public policy. We seemed to be well paired. We got to know each other a little bit at church but he quickly asked me out and we became a couple. We became very serious, very quickly but it was rocky.’
‘He was never physical with me while we were dating and now I see there were red flags, left and right. He was verbally abusive and emotionally abusive all during that time, which I understand now, and we were fighting a lot.’
‘He would belittle me constantly about my weight, my sexiness, how good I looked to him or didn’t look to him.
‘He would always be checking out other women very obviously and would often compare me to other women.’
Holderness went on to say, ‘I remember crying all through my wedding day, not sure if I wanted to go through with it. But we were already over in England, everybody had flown over there and it was a very high-pressure situation for a 23-year-old and so I went through with it.’
Last week, DailyMail.com 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.
I think if I were Hope Hicks, I would take the advice of two previous women who were both married to Porter, don’t you?
In other remarks by Sen. Orin Hatch…..
‘I am heartbroken by today’s allegations,’ Hatch said in a statement to reporters.
‘In every interaction I’ve had with Rob, he has been courteous, professional, and respectful. My staff loved him and he was a trusted advisor.’
‘I do not know the details of Rob’s personal life. Domestic violence in any form is abhorrent and unacceptable. I am praying for Rob and those involved,’ he said.
Why do women stay in abusive relationships, mainly because they feel trapped and ashamed. Sad, but true.
In the words from Porter’s 2nd ex-wife Jennifer Willoughby:
‘Abuse is indifferent to education level, socio-economic status, race, age, or gender. And no one can ever know the dynamics of another’s relationship. My cycle continued for four more years. Afterward, I let go and welcomed the hard work of healing and forgiveness. My experience made me stronger and able to love more deeply. But my heart breaks for him. In the end, who is the real victim of his choices?’
Before being tapped to join the the Trump administration, Rob Porter had been chief of staff for veteran Utah Senator Orrin Hatch. He has also worked for Republican senators Rob Portman of Ohio and Mike Lee of Utah.
His father, Roger Porter, was an aide to President George H.W. Bush.
Resource: Axios, Daily Mail