Donald Trump sat down in the Oval Office and fielded questions from reporters on Friday, where he was asked to comment on the domestic abuse scandal that led to White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter’s sudden resignation. The president’s response was a stark contrast to the sentiments expressed by Chief of Staff John Kelly, who sent a memo to White House staff condemning domestic violence.
Once again, Trump managed to jump to the glowing defense of an individual accused of reprehensible actions, lamenting that Porter was going through a very tough time. “He did a very good job while he was in the White House, and we hope he has a wonderful career,” Trump told reporters. “Now, he also says he’s innocent, and I think you have to remember that … but we absolutely wish him well.”
Trump could have (and likely should have) stopped there, but during some undoubtedly well-earned executive time on Saturday morning, the president took to Twitter to double down on his sentiments.
“Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation,” the president wrote. “Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone.” (Unless one aspires to be President of the United States, apparently.)
One could also argue that peoples lives are also shattered by domestic abuse, but that’s neither here nor there. Despite Trump’s insistence to brush off Porter’s violent past as “mere allegations,” the fact remains that both of his former wives, Colbie Holderness and Jennifer Willoughby, have evidence to back up their claims in the form of graphic photos of abuse and a 2010 protection order, respectively.
Kelly is reportedly prepared to resign over criticisms of how he handled the controversy, and Trump’s latest remarks are likely not helping matters.