One of the ex-wives of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter has criticized the Trump administration regarding their handling of her allegations of domestic abuse.
In a Monday opinion editorial published in The Washington Post, Colbie Holderness took issue with the fact that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not indicate whether President Donald Trump believed the allegations of abuse made by her and Porter’s other ex-wife, Jennie Willoughby, and wrote that she expected better from a woman.
In a Sunday appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” White House counsel Kellyanne Conway addressed rumors that Porter was now dating Communications Director Hope Hicks. Conway said that she does not fear for Hicks in that relationship because Hicks is “strong.”
Holderness contended that Conway’s statement implied that “those who have been in abusive relationships are not strong. I beg to differ. Recognizing and surviving in an abusive relationship takes strength. The abuse can be terrifying, life-threatening and almost constant.”
According to Holderness, “living in constant fear of Rob’s anger and being subjected to his degrading tirades for years chipped away at my independence and sense of self-worth.”
Holderness insisted that people who are abused must speak out and not remain silent regarding the issue.
On Monday, the White House defended Trump’s failure to publicly acknowledge the women who made allegations of abuse against Porter.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the “president and the entire administration take domestic violence very seriously and believe all allegations need to be investigated thoroughly. Above all, the president supports victims of domestic violence and believes everyone should be treated fairly and with due process.”
In tweets and public remarks, Trump has not mentioned Porter’s ex-wives who allege that they were physically and emotionally abused by Porter. Porter has denied the accusations.
“People’s lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation,” Trump wrote in a Saturday tweet. “Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?”
Peoples 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?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2018
Sanders insisted that her statement came directly from Trump.
“It’s my job to speak on the behalf of the president. I spoke to him, and he relayed that message directly to me, and I’m relaying it directly to you,” Sanders said, also defending remarks in which he wished Porter well.
During her Sunday appearance on CNN, Conway also addressed Trump’s tweet, saying, “What the president is pointing out is that, all the while — and Sarah said this from the podium too, read a statement from Rob Porter — that he is denying these ‘vile allegations,’ but that he doesn’t want to further engage in this orchestrated public smear campaign.”
According to The New York Times, Trump is privately angry at Porter and blames him for creating a crisis for the administration. During a phone call with a confidant, Trump reportedly said that Porter was “bad garbage.”