President Donald Trump made it appear that former White House staff secretary Rob Porter was the “victim” after accusations of domestic violence by two of Porter’s ex-wives, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said.
Scarborough, during a segment of “Morning Joe” on Monday, said he was shocked that Trump praised Porter’s work during a press conference last week, and repeatedly reminded the public that the former aide had proclaimed his innocence. The president continued to defend Porter even after he resigned on Feb. 7.
Scarborough called Trump’s comments “unbelievable.”
“Two or three phrases just stand out and they really are shocking: ‘This is a tough time for him,’ the president’s words. ‘It’s a very sad time, very sad time for him. We wish him very well in the future,’” Scarborough said.
“The president, in those comments, made the man accused of beating up two women the victim,” he added.
Porter’s ex-wives, Jennie Willoughby and Colbie Holderness, publicly accused the former White House aide of abusing them emotionally, verbally and physically during their marriages. Porter has denied the allegations.
Scarborough discussed the abuse allegations and Trump’s reaction with a panel of reporters. BBC journalist Katty Kay noted that Trump made “absolutely no mention” of Porter’s ex-wives in his statement, “let alone a word of sympathy for them.”
“He made a choice, the president, right there and he sided with Rob Porter,” Kay said.
A day after Trump made his public statement on Porter, he tweeted that “peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation.” He added: “There is no recovery for someone falsely accused ― life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as due process?”
Jennie Willoughby, one of Porter’s ex-wives, wrote an op-ed published in Time on Monday criticizing the president for insinuating she’s lying.
“There it is again. The words ‘mere allegation’ and ‘falsely accused’ meant to imply that I am a liar. That Colbie Holderness is a liar,” Willoughby wrote, referring to Porter’s other ex-wife. “That the work Rob was doing in the White House was of higher value than our mental, emotional or physical well-being. That his professional contributions are worth more than the truth. That abuse is something to be questioned and doubted.”