Trump on Rob Porter Abuse Allegations: 'We Wish Him Well ... He Did a Very Good Job'

February 9, 2018

President Donald Trump on Friday personally addressed the resignation of his White House staff secretary, wishing Rob Porter well as he deals with domestic abuse allegations.

Porter announced his resignation on Wednesday, after his two ex-wives this week accused him of physically and emotionally abusing them during their marriages. The top aide, who primarily controlled the flow of information onto Trump's desk, had been unable to obtain a full security clearance from the FBI, even while he worked in the White House, because of a 2010 protective order that his second wife filed against him. Several reports have said that White House officials knew about the allegations before they became public.

Trump told reporters that he was surprised by the allegations leveled against Porter and praised the aide's job performance.

"We wish him well; he worked very hard," Trump said. "I found out about it recently, and I was surprised by it, but we certainly wish him well."

Trump emphasized that Porter maintains his innocence, despite photographs of his injured ex-wife that she says were the result of his physical abuse.

"He says he's innocent, and I think you have to remember that," Trump said. "He said very strongly yesterday that he's innocent, so you'll have to talk to him about that, but we absolutely wish him well."

Porter said in a statement that the allegations are "outrageous" and "simply false."

"I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign," he said.

Trump said Friday that Porter not only worked hard but also "did a very good job," and he declared his hope that Porter's career turns out to be "wonderful."

"It's obviously a tough time for him," Trump said. "He did a very good job when he was in the White House, and we hope he has a wonderful career, and hopefully he will have a great career ahead of him."

Trump did not refer directly to the domestic abuse allegations against Porter, but he did say the matter is "sad" and that Porter is "very sad now."

"It was very sad when we heard about it, and certainly he's also very sad now," Trump said.