White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter resigned on Wednesday after two of his ex-wives accused him of being abusive. Porter says he didn’t experience any internal pressures to resign from office, and claims that he quit on his own accord.
Porter’s first wife, Colbie Holderness, said that he allegedly kicked her, choked her and punched her in the face during their honeymoon. While Porter adamantly denies these allegations, Holderness published photos after the incident. Jennifer Willoughby, his second wife, told the Daily Mail earlier this week that she was dragged naked from the shower a little while after their first anniversary. She also claims that he was extremely verbally abusive. The Daily Mail acquired a 2010 police complaint stating that Porter allegedly punched through a glass door in their home, which resulted in Willoughby filling a temporary restraining order.
Porter denied the accusations, saying in a statement “These outrageous allegations are simply false. I took the photos given to the media nearly 15 years ago and the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described. I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign. My commitment to public service speaks for itself. I have always put duty to country first and treated others with respect. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have served in the Trump Administration and will seek to ensure a smooth transition when I leave the White House,” according to Axios.
Willoughby informed Daily Mail that Porter has a history of failing to pass FBI security clearances due to his vigilante past.
“As has always been our policy, we do not comment on security clearances. Porter had been effective in his role as staff secretary and the president, and chief of staff have full confidence and trust in his abilities, and his performance,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated on Wednesday. Sanders defended the staff secretary fiercely saying that he is “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.”
Porter was one of Chief of Staff John Kelly’s most trusted advisors and was in charge of trade policy meetings.