The South Asian Times

18 February 2019 17:22 PM

White House declines to answer questions about Rob Porter


Washington, Feb 13: The White House has declined to answer key questions about how it handled spousal abuse allegations against former top aide, Rob Porter, the media reported.

Porter resigned on February 7 following the allegations of abuse from his two former wives, reports CNN.

Speaking during the White House briefing on Monday, press secretary Sarah Sanders insisted that top aides to Trump did not know the "extent" of the allegations against Porter until the evening of February 6, when they were first by the Daily Mail.

Reading a statement she said had been dictated to her by Donald Trump himself, Sanders sought to tamp down accusations that the President has downplayed abuse claims.

"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," Sanders said.

On February 9, Trump praised Porter's integrity and said that the allegations if not investigated could ruin a person's career, CNN reported.

Sanders also brushed off questions about Trump's own feelings about domestic violence, noting that he had "literally dictated" the statement she read during her briefing.

She declined to provide further details about which White House aides knew about the abuse claims, which Porter's former wives detailed to the FBI as they were investigating his background for a security clearance.

Sanders fielded questions for more than 20 minutes about the Porter matter.

Update: 13 Feb, 2018