Ryan: White House should 'absolutely' condemn domestic violence

Ryan: White House should 'absolutely' condemn domestic violence
© Greg Nash

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump backs down in rare reversal Trump, GOP launch full-court press on compromise immigration measure Meadows gets heated with Ryan on House floor MORE (R-Wis.) said Tuesday the White House should “absolutely” condemn domestic violence as the Trump administration continues to deal with the fallout related to domestic abuse allegations against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter.

“Clearly we should all be condemning domestic violence,” Ryan told reporters on Wednesday.

“And if a person who commits domestic violence gets in the government, then there is a breakdown in the vetting system and that breakdown needs to be addressed.”

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The Speaker added that House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — GOP lawmakers race to find an immigration fix Republicans tear into IG finding on Clinton probe Live coverage: Justice IG testifies before House on report criticizing FBI MORE (R-S.C.) had informed leadership that he had opened up an investigation into how Porter managed to remain employed in the administration as revelations surfaced last week that his two ex-wives had accused Porter of domestic violence.

The White House “clearly [has] work to do to fix their vetting system. I don’t know exactly how they will do that. I’ll leave that to them, but Chairman Gowdy is doing his proper job and oversight,” Ryan said.

Asked for any recommendations on how the White House could better handle the Porter situation, Ryan replied, “I’ll leave that to them. We’re the House. I can’t answer that question.”

Criticism of the White House's handling of the Porter allegations has now stretched an entire week. Chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE condemned domestic violence in an email to staff, and White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that President TrumpDonald John TrumpFamily immigration detention centers could be at capacity within days: report Trump likely to meet with Putin in July: report DOJ requests military lawyers to help prosecute immigration crimes: report MORE supports victims of domestic violence.

But the president has made no public comments about domestic violence victims, including Porter’s ex-wives, since the story broke. That may be because multiple women have accused Trump of sexual assault and harassment, allegations that he emphatically denies.

“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,” Trump tweeted over the weekend. “There is no recovery for someone falsely accused - life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?”

--This report was updated at 11:16 a.m.