White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said President Trump was “shocked and disturbed” by the domestic abuse allegations against former staff secretary Rob Porter, despite never publicly stating those feelings.
Trump said Friday it was “very sad” that Porter had to resign after the allegations by his ex-wives went public and said it was important to remember that Porter says he’s innocent. The White House has also released several fawning statements about Porter and reports indicate he was told to stay and fight back the allegations instead of resign.
However, Conway tried to argue Trump instead acted swiftly and forcefully to get Porter out of the White House and say the president is a champion for women despite never actually expressing any such sentiment publicly.
“The president, like the rest of us, [was] shocked and disturbed by the allegations. This is not the Rob Porter any of us had worked with. Looking at police reports, pictures, detailed allegations by these women, yes, we are a nation of laws and due process,” she said on ABC's "This Week." “But, you can't ignore what you see in front of you. We take domestic abuse seriously, child abuse, drug abuse, sexual harassment. They're serious issues.”
Trump’s latest statement on the subject, a tweet on Saturday, stated, “People's lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. 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?”
Conway tried to point more attention to the fact that Porter is out of a job than Trump’s willingness to defend his former staffer.
“The president believes you have to consider all sides. He said this about incidents that relate to him as well,” she said, referring to the nearly 20 women who have accused Trump of sexual assault.
“You have to look at the result. The result is that Rob Porter is no longer the staff secretary. The president tells me he learned when the rest of us did, the pictures, the police reports, the information provided to the FBI, we're all trying to process that against the person we worked with for over a year.”