White House officials baffled by Trump's conflicting stances on Rob Porter

Several White House officials have expressed confusion over ...

Posted: Feb 12, 2018 7:56 PM
Updated: Feb 12, 2018 7:56 PM

Several White House officials have expressed confusion over President Donald Trump's conflicting remarks on the allegations made against his former staff secretary Rob Porter, who resigned last Wednesday after his two former spouses accused him of physical and verbal abuse.

Though a smattering of top aides appeared on television Sunday to defend the White House's response to the situation, other officials were left wondering how the President can go from reportedly calling Porter "a sick puppy" in private to being-defensive of him and dismissive of the allegations in public.-Officials say they-are left wondering where Trump truly stands on this issue.

The West Wing has been mired in turmoil since the allegations against Porter first surfaced, and aides are still unable to provide a consistent explanation as to which officials knew about the accusations and when. CNN has reported that several senior administration officials, including chief of staff John Kelly, were aware of the allegations before they became public.

The President has contributed to the confusion with his differing remarks on Porter. Though White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said he was "disturbed" and legislative affairs director Marc Short maintained he was "saddened," Trump has expressed a different sentiment publicly.

On Friday, he emphasized that Porter has maintained his innocence and was a stellar employee in the West Wing, while wishing him the best in his future endeavors. The next day he complained that a-"mere allegation"-could ruin someone without due process.

"People's lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation," he tweeted, adding, "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. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?"

Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney said Sunday the President may have been thinking of Steve Wynn, the former Republican National Committee finance chairman who stepped down recently amid dozens of accusations of sexual misconduct, when he wrote he tweet.

"When I saw the tweet -- I know Rob Porter wasn't mentioned -- I wondered if the President was talking about his friend Steve Wynn, who has been accused and essentially condemned without any due process," Mulvaney said on Fox News. "What you also saw there from the President is a certain sadness that somebody that he liked had let him down."

White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley was also unable to answer Monday why the President has been publicly dismissive of the allegations against Porter if he is privately critical.

"I don't know if he is going to say that publicly or not," Gidley said in an interview on Fox News. "And I have not spoken with the President about this, but I can say, you know, we lean on a process here at the White House and quite frankly, as soon as we found out about this on Tuesday, Wednesday Rob Porter was gone. The President has been very clear, that all forms of abuse, all forms of battery against women are horrible and disgusting."

The situation has presented another uncomfortable momen for a White House that has been largely out of step with the #MeToo movement that has swept the country. Trump, given the range of sexual harassment and assault allegations against him, has long struggled to respond to the nationwide focus on the mistreatment against women.

During the election, at least 15 women accused Trump of ranging from sexual harassment and sexual assault to lewd behavior around women. They came forward in the wake of a 2005 "Access Hollywood" tape of Trump released in October 2016 caught him saying on a hot mic: "And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything ... Grab them by the p****. You can do anything."

But the White House -- through spokeswoman Sarah Sanders and others -- has dismissed all the allegations against him as old news that had been litigated during the 2016 campaign.

Trump told the British broadcaster Piers Morgan in January that he was not a feminist because he was "for everyone."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 918230

Reported Deaths: 15011
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1252491952
Lake623371084
Allen52301746
Hamilton43009443
St. Joseph41155584
Elkhart32831485
Vanderburgh29698436
Tippecanoe26442247
Johnson23106414
Hendricks21708338
Porter21255340
Clark16988222
Madison16899378
Vigo15562272
Monroe14186190
LaPorte13961235
Delaware13613215
Howard13531258
Kosciusko11150134
Hancock10534159
Warrick10431174
Bartholomew10233166
Floyd10099202
Wayne9557216
Grant8858194
Morgan8654158
Boone8231109
Dubois7521123
Henry7391126
Dearborn734186
Noble7208100
Marshall7168127
Cass7060117
Lawrence6803150
Jackson638980
Shelby6386106
Gibson5999105
Harrison587984
Huntington586490
Montgomery5663101
DeKalb555691
Knox532999
Miami523183
Clinton522464
Putnam519067
Whitley509851
Steuben480267
Wabash470192
Jasper465760
Jefferson456091
Ripley439074
Adams435565
Daviess4008106
Scott389563
White383457
Decatur376895
Clay376455
Greene375589
Wells375183
Fayette363074
Posey351841
Jennings341756
Washington324046
LaGrange312074
Spencer310734
Fountain306553
Randolph302087
Sullivan294947
Owen275961
Orange269659
Starke268961
Fulton264451
Jay248134
Perry244950
Carroll239926
Franklin229337
Vermillion225850
Rush225530
Parke212020
Tipton205354
Pike200938
Blackford163834
Pulaski155250
Crawford140818
Benton138316
Newton138141
Brown130646
Martin124416
Switzerland122310
Warren112616
Union92211
Ohio75811
Unassigned0461

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1319265

Reported Deaths: 21265
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1480641537
Cuyahoga1311202313
Hamilton948871307
Montgomery647451122
Summit548531041
Lucas49502853
Butler45993649
Stark39954963
Lorain30438525
Warren29170326
Mahoning25988629
Clermont24726278
Lake24088411
Delaware21722140
Licking19822239
Fairfield19780218
Greene19671266
Medina19208285
Trumbull19195506
Clark17188321
Portage15585224
Richland15540228
Wood15187208
Allen13654254
Miami13283244
Muskingum11821148
Wayne11448234
Columbiana11100239
Tuscarawas10388264
Marion10273144
Pickaway10162128
Scioto9766124
Erie9479170
Ross8979172
Lawrence8225116
Hancock8105140
Ashtabula8083184
Geauga7976155
Belmont7791183
Jefferson7093168
Huron7087125
Union703549
Washington6823116
Athens666163
Sandusky6608132
Darke6394135
Knox6308120
Seneca6113135
Auglaize569888
Ashland5631110
Shelby555799
Mercer545188
Brown533067
Defiance5278100
Madison527368
Crawford5148113
Highland514876
Fulton508781
Clinton505379
Logan494582
Preble4788110
Putnam4733106
Guernsey439057
Williams437281
Champaign426463
Ottawa425783
Perry414051
Jackson402259
Pike367140
Morrow359149
Fayette353951
Coshocton345064
Hardin341868
Adams338864
Gallia329254
Holmes3148107
Henry312668
Van Wert299269
Hocking280467
Wyandot271858
Carroll250451
Paulding231742
Meigs197842
Monroe178649
Noble160340
Morgan153528
Harrison145740
Vinton130217
Unassigned05
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