Trump praises ex-aide accused of abuse

President Trump discusses the departure of Rob Porter, a White House aide who resigned after he was accused by two ex-wives of physical and emotional abuse. Porter has denied the accusations.

Posted: Feb 11, 2018 8:27 AM
Updated: Feb 11, 2018 8:27 AM

Vice President Mike Pence said he was "appalled" by the allegations of domestic abuse against top White House staffer Rob Porter, and added that "the White House has acknowledged that they could have handled it better."

The administration's number two weighed in from South Korea on the controversy that has engulfed the White House this week, after allegations from Porter's two ex-wives led to his resignation.

"I was appalled when I learned of the allegations against Rob Porter. The time that he resigned was the first time I became aware of the allegations of domestic abuse," Pence told NBC News in an interview from Pyeongchang, where he is leading the United States Olympic delegation.

"There is no tolerance in the White House, no place in America for domestic abuse," Pence said. "That being said, I think the White House has acknowledged that they could have handled it better."

Pence added that when he returns to Washington, DC, he will look into the matter and share his "counsel with the President directly."

The vice president's comments come as chief of staff John Kelly and other top White House officials are facing questions about why they did not act to remove Porter from his position after they found out about the allegations of domestic abuse.

Senior aides knew for months about the allegations levied against Porter by his ex-wives, even as Porter's stock in the West Wing continued to rise, multiple sources have told CNN. Porter denied the allegations but resigned on Wednesday.

Even after the allegations surfaced publicly, sources told CNN that Kelly did not urge Porter to resign or seek to force him out. Instead, the White House released a statement from Kelly praising Porter's character.

It wasn't until the uproar over the allegations grew and more details surfaced that Porter resigned and Kelly put out a second statement expressing concern about the allegations.

On Thursday, deputy press secretary Raj Shah issued a rare admission that the White House could have handled the Porter fiasco better.

"We all could have done better over the few hours or last few days in dealing with this situation," Shah told reporters Thursday. "But you know this was a Rob Porter that I and many others have dealt with, that Sarah (Sanders) had dealt with, that other officials, including the chief of staff had dealt with. And the emerging reports were not reflective of the individual who we had come to know."

On Friday, President Donald Trump called Porter's departure "very sad" and said he wishes the ex-staffer "well."

The President focused on Porter's denial of the allegations that he struck his two-ex-wives while they were married.

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

The NBC sit-down was not the first time Pence was asked about Porter. Early Thursday morning, he spoke with reporters during a press availability in Japan and was asked when he knew about the allegations and whether or not the President was being well-served by his staff. Pence did not answer the question.

"Well, let me say, we're standing at Yokota Air Force Base in Japan; we're on our way to the Olympics. And I learned, as I awoke this morning, of those developments. And so we'll comment on any issues affecting White House staff when we get back to Washington," the vice president said.

In a follow-up question, Pence was asked point-blank why he often seems "out of the loop" on major news. Again, Pence highlighted the generosity of the President for allowing him to represent America on the global stage, and reiterated that staffing issues would be dealt with when he returned to the White House.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 664446

Reported Deaths: 12663
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion909511650
Lake48568884
Allen36004640
Hamilton32182398
St. Joseph30166513
Elkhart25453419
Vanderburgh21300382
Tippecanoe20143203
Johnson16407361
Porter16042276
Hendricks15877300
Clark12018181
Madison11776319
Vigo11660231
Monroe10379163
Delaware9870179
LaPorte9802198
Howard9083199
Kosciusko8582111
Bartholomew7488147
Warrick7438151
Hancock7428133
Floyd7243170
Wayne6648192
Grant6446157
Boone610989
Morgan6106126
Dubois5925112
Dearborn549969
Cass547299
Marshall5439105
Henry542594
Noble510578
Jackson465167
Shelby461991
Lawrence4193113
Harrison402564
Gibson402083
Clinton396753
Montgomery389683
DeKalb387178
Knox357885
Miami357863
Whitley350237
Huntington347377
Steuben339555
Wabash332676
Putnam331260
Ripley327862
Adams324749
Jasper318143
White297952
Jefferson295874
Daviess285696
Fayette272156
Decatur271188
Greene262080
Posey261431
Wells258675
Scott251350
LaGrange241870
Clay241444
Randolph225676
Spencer218930
Jennings216344
Washington212827
Sullivan203639
Fountain202142
Starke189051
Owen183253
Fulton179837
Jay178528
Carroll176619
Perry173736
Orange171250
Rush165322
Vermillion161442
Franklin159635
Tipton148441
Parke140016
Pike128233
Blackford120727
Pulaski107344
Newton96632
Brown95140
Benton92213
Crawford91713
Martin80314
Warren75914
Switzerland7558
Union67510
Ohio54011
Unassigned0432

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 974480

Reported Deaths: 16750
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1125851214
Cuyahoga964441832
Hamilton736841034
Montgomery47424903
Summit40474802
Butler35678505
Lucas35588685
Stark29495803
Warren22510271
Lorain22111414
Mahoning19532537
Lake18471318
Clermont18459201
Delaware16537116
Licking15037189
Fairfield14587180
Trumbull14381413
Greene13626218
Medina13448226
Clark12319248
Wood11604163
Portage11078164
Allen10804216
Richland10334183
Miami10048189
Muskingum8204112
Columbiana8160200
Pickaway8079107
Tuscarawas8063227
Marion8006125
Wayne7898193
Erie6925140
Ross6161128
Geauga6097136
Hancock6013116
Ashtabula5993152
Scioto597780
Lawrence527218
Union515237
Darke5040114
Belmont497659
Huron4838107
Jefferson4814107
Sandusky4785108
Seneca4709107
Washington470991
Athens465447
Mercer459180
Auglaize456480
Shelby442479
Knox4045101
Putnam400090
Madison394253
Ashland381381
Fulton381258
Defiance372983
Brown372244
Crawford359096
Logan356072
Preble353678
Clinton341152
Highland328649
Ottawa324869
Williams302962
Jackson290745
Champaign289249
Guernsey288444
Perry270447
Fayette269441
Morrow260934
Henry247058
Hardin246558
Holmes243493
Coshocton238054
Van Wert230154
Gallia223131
Adams217436
Pike216026
Wyandot211747
Hocking194754
Carroll181641
Paulding160530
Meigs135930
Noble129333
Monroe116927
Morgan101119
Harrison100724
Vinton76613
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 41°
Angola
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 34°
Huntington
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 38°
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 41°
Lima
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 36°
Seasonal Saturday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events