Trump's undying support for men accused of abusing women

Getty Images

Getty Images

As questions continued to swirl over how the two officials were permitted to join the White House staff, Trump has appeared to side with the accused men.

Domestic abuse allegations engulfed the White House last week, after it was disclosed that Porter's two ex-wives had reported incidents of physical and emotional abuse involving the White House staff secretary while he was being considered for a security clearance.

Then, on Saturday, the president tweeted in general comments that didn't specify if he was referring to Porter or to the issue of domestic violence, lamented that lives are being "destroyed by a mere allegation".

The glowing praise of a staff member accused of serial violence against women was in line with the president's own denials of sexual impropriety despite accusations from more than a dozen women and his habit of accepting claims of innocence from men facing similar allegations. He said on Fox News Sunday that Trump and Kelly had a "very human reaction" to the allegations against Porter.

This week saw the departure of White House speechwriter David Sorensen and staff secretary Rob Porter. "In this case, the president has denied any of these allegations". It's a White House where distinguishing between right and wrong is prohibited.

Apart from disbelief, the White House also has showed ambivalence about allegations of mistreatment of women: Steve Bannon was brought on as Trump's chief strategist despite misdemeanor charges in a 1996 domestic violence case. The US president's remarks bore a likeness to his defence of sex scandal-hit Senate candidate Roy Moore in 2017.

Porter told him about the possible allegations because he was concerned that what he characterized as false charges from aggrieved women who were out to destroy him could derail his Federal Bureau of Investigation background check, according to one of the two people briefed on the matter.

AG Eric Schneiderman sues Weinstein Company, reveals new allegations against movie mogul
The lawsuit presents an obstacle for ex-Obama administration official Maria Contreras-Sweet's bid for the company. . And Schneiderman notes that a sale could mean a windfall for those responsible for any misconduct.

"(T) he West Wing continues to function.

But there was no sign that a move was imminent, according to the people with knowledge of the conversations.

The president has now sounded out several people as possible replacements for Kelly. Among the names being considered: Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Mark Meadows and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Kelly was aware of the allegations well before they were publicly disclosed. Most West Wing offices remained dark.

"You falsely alleged rape by the #CentralParkFive even AFTER they were exonerated, but said nothing about due process for 5 black boys", Cornell William Brooks, a former president of the NAACP, said in a tweet.

Kelly, meanwhile, said the only other indication he had that something could be wrong came in November, when he got an update on pending background investigations and learned "there was some things that needed to be looked into".

"Kelly's luster has slowly eroded during his roughly six months as Trump's top staffer - and some White House aides worry it may be acutely painful, considering he takes personal pride in his honor as a lifelong public servant".

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