WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump broke his silence Wednesday after defending a former aide who was accused of domestic abuse by two ex-wives.
“I am totally opposed to domestic violence and everybody here knows that,” the president said, more than a week after the allegations against Rob Porter first became public.
The president added: “Everyone knows that and it almost wouldn’t even have to be said. So now you hear it, but you all know it.”
Trump had praised Porter, his former staff secretary, on Friday in his first comments about the allegations. And on Saturday, he appeared to cast doubt on the women’s allegations when he tweeted: “Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation.”
The White House’s handling of the Porter situation has ensnared senior West Wing officials, calling into question the decision-making and candor of chief of staff John Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn.
Trump’s comments come as lawmakers on Capitol Hill launched a probe into how Porter was allowed to work at the White House under an interim security clearance despite allegations of spousal abuse.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent letters to the FBI and White House on Wednesday as his panel opened an investigation into the matter.
House Speaker Paul Ryan was asked Wednesday about how the White House has handled the Porter allegations, and whether Trump needs to publicly condemn domestic violence.
“Clearly, we all should be condemning domestic violence,” Ryan told reporters. “And if a person who commits domestic violence gets in the government, then there’s a breakdown in the system. There’s a breakdown in the vetting system and that breakdown needs to be addressed.”
Ryan’s comments and word of the House probe followed a day after the FBI contradicted the White House over the Porter accusations. …read more
Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News