Politics Rob Porter's ex-wife says he asked her to "downplay" abuse allegations

06:15  09 february  2018
06:15  09 february  2018 Source:   cbsnews.com

Biden on Trump aide Rob Porter: 'It's long past due that he left'

  Biden on Trump aide Rob Porter: 'It's long past due that he left' Joe Biden criticized the White House Thursday for allowing a top aide to President Donald Trump to stay on despite his alleged history of domestic abuse. That aide, White House staff secretary Rob Porter, resigned Wednesday after the allegations became public."I can't explain it. It's long past due that he left," Biden told NBC News' Andrea Mitchell when asked about Porter's access to the president, as well as White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Jennie Willoughby, one of the two ex - wives of outgoing White House staff secretary Rob Porter accusing him of domestic abuse , said he asked her to downplay the allegations . On CNN' s "Anderson Cooper 360" Thursday

When Cooper pressed Willoughby on the request, she said that Porter was “ asking me to downplay it.” Porter , in a statement on Wednesday, announced his resignation as White House staff secretary while denying the allegations of abuse made by his two ex - wives .

a person wearing a suit and tie: cbsn-fusion-white-house-staff-secretary-rob-porter-is-resigning-amid-abuse-allegations-thumbnail-1497798-640x360.jpg © Credit: CBSNews cbsn-fusion-white-house-staff-secretary-rob-porter-is-resigning-amid-abuse-allegations-thumbnail-1497798-640x360.jpg

Jennie Willoughby, one of the two ex-wives of outgoing White House staff secretary Rob Porter accusing him of domestic abuse, said he asked her to downplay the allegations. On CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" Thursday, Willoughby said she believed that Porter has the capacity to be abusive to White House communications director Hope Hicks, who he is currently dating.

Willoughby told Cooper that Porter asked her to take down a blog post from April 2017 detailing the abuse, and asked her to put out a statement downplaying the allegations. Ultimately, Willoughby said she didn't agree to the statement because she didn't agree with the language. Willoughby said she was in contact with Porter within the last two weeks, but has not been since the Daily Mail broke the allegations Tuesday night.

Rob Porter ex-wife: I told FBI about the abuse

  Rob Porter ex-wife: I told FBI about the abuse Jennifer Willoughby, the second ex-wife of White House staff secretary Rob Porter, told NBC News Thursday that she informed the FBI during his background interview for a top-level security clearance that he was abusive toward her."During the FBI background interview for security clearance, I shared with the FBI all of the details that I shared in previous articles, including access to a protective order from June of 2010, and police calls that I had made to our home," she told NBC News' Kristen Welker.

“ He was asking me to downplay it,” she said . ( Porter has called all of the allegations false.) Tonight, Willoughby spoke to CNN’ s Anderson Cooper about her experience. “It was a low-grade, constant terror of not knowing what I might do to set something off,” she said , describing her marriage.

In emotional interview, Rob Porter ' s ex - wife Jennie Willoughby described the "low grade constant terror" of married life One of these calls came about two weeks ago, as the Daily Mail was preparing to break the story about the abuse allegations against Porter . “ He was asking me to downplay it.”

White House knew of abuse allegations for months

"He was asking me to downplay it," Willoughby told Cooper.

Willoughby also said she does not think Porter has changed, and still has the capacity to be abusive and expressed concern for Hicks.

White House faces questions over Rob Porter's resignation

"It worries me for a lot of reasons. I mean, it definitely worries me because if I'm being frank with you, if he hasn't already been abusive with Hope, he will," she said.

Willoughby also mentioned she thinks Porter may suffer from depression. She said ultimately, she believes in redemption, and Porter, can be a good man and "can be redeemed."

Porter resigned Wednesday from the White House after Daily Mail published allegations of physical and verbal abuse by Willoughby and Colbie Holderness, his first wife. Holderness told the Daily Mail Porter kicked her, and presented an image of her with a black eye from when she says he hit her while they were on vacation in Italy. Willoughby filed an emergency protective order against Porter after he allegedly refused to cooperate with their separation agreement by leaving the apartment, and cut his hand punching into a glass door. Willoughby told CBS News a third woman, Porter's then-girlfriend, contacted her in February 2016 to say she was in an emotionally abusive relationship with Porter and ask if she had a similar experience, which she had.

Porter ex-wife: 'If he hasn’t already been abusive with Hope, he will'

  Porter ex-wife: 'If he hasn’t already been abusive with Hope, he will' <p>One of the ex-wives of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter said that if he hasn't been abusive during his relationship with communications director Hope Hicks, he soon would be.</p>Jennie Willoughby, who was married to Porter for four years until 2013, told CNN's Anderson Cooper that she was worried for Hicks.

One of these calls came about two weeks ago, as the Daily Mail was preparing to break the story about the abuse allegations against Porter . “The things that I said were factual statements.” “ He was asking me to downplay it.” Ex - wife says Porter asked her to “ downplay ” blog post describing

Jennifer Willoughby, an ex - wife of former White House aide Rob Porter who has come forward with allegations of domestic abuse , said Thursday that Porter asked her this week to “ downplay ” her accusations.

The White House was made aware of the allegations against Porter in November, CBS News has confirmed. But it's unclear exactly who knew what and when. On Thursday, White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah refused to say when chief of staff John Kelly — who along with White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a glowing statement about Porter to the Daily Mail — first became aware of the allegations.

Shah said the White House's response shifted after the image of Holderness emerged. On Wednesday night, Kelly issued another statement condemning domestic violence but saying he stands by his earlier statement about Porter's character.

Hicks, as CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett has reported, was involved in crafting the initial statements praising Porter.

As staff secretary, Porter was one of Mr. Trump's closest aides, acting as the conduit for all written information given to the president. Shah confirmed on Thursday that Porter's "background investigation was ongoing."

Kelly indicated to Trump he was willing to resign: report

  Kelly indicated to Trump he was willing to resign: report Chief of staff John Kelly has reportedly indicated to President Trump that he is willing to resign amid the controversy surrounding his handling of the domestic abuse allegations against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter.Individuals close to Kelly and the president told ABC News that the chief of staff has "made it clear" over the past 24 hours that he would be willing to step down.The White House, however, said in statement provided to CNN that Kelly has not offered to step down."He has not offered to resign," spokesman Hogan Gidley said.ABC's report came hours after reports that Trump was considering options for replacing Kelly.

Rob Porter ' s ex - wife Jennifer Willoughby appeared on Today Friday morning to discuss her four-year marriage to the disgraced White House secretary. Willoughby said Porter had asked her to downplay the allegations of abuse she was making against him .

Willoughby and Porter ’ s first wife, Colbie Holderness, publicly accused Porter of abusing them emotionally, verbally and physically during their marriages. White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter Resigns Over Abuse Allegations . Rob Porter ' s Ex - Wife Said He Asked Her To ' Downplay ' His

Kelly issued a statement to White House staff Thursday, CBS News' Jillian Hughes reports:

Dear Colleagues,

While we are all processing the shocking and troubling allegations made against a former White House staffer, I want you to know that we all take matters of domestic violence very seriously. Domestic violence is abhorrent and has no place in our society.

We understand the shock, pain and confusion that these allegations have caused in our workplace. It is important for me to tell you - you are not alone.  Resources are available here at the White House for anyone who is seeking counseling.

The White House Human Resources Department's Employee Assistance Program provides short-term counseling for employees in the Executive Office of the President. If you have any questions or concerns, you can also reach out to your supervisor or the Office of the Chief of Staff.

Thank you for all your work and for your continued service to the American people.

John Kelly

CBS News' Gabrielle Ake contributed to this report.

FBI had photos showing Porter’s alleged abuse in early 2017: report .
<p>The FBI had photos showing former White House staff secretary Rob Porter's alleged domestic abuse toward his ex-wife in early 2017, CNN reports, raising questions about what information senior aides such as counsel Don McGahn had access to regarding Porter.</p>The bureau obtained the photos of Porter's first wife Colbie Holderness with a black eye just seven days after President Trump's inauguration, according to CNN. Holderness provided the photos as part of Porter's background check to obtain a security clearance.

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