Hatch supports ousted Trump aide amid domestic abuse allegations
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on Wednesday expressed support for a top White House aide who resigned earlier in the day amid domestic abuse allegations, saying he would “prefer him not to resign.”
Hatch’s spokesman Matt Whitlock told The Hill that the senator spoke to Rob Porter at the White House today and urged him to get help so that he can serve in government in the future. Before joining President Trump’s administration, Porter worked for the Republican senator.
“When Sen. Hatch spoke to Rob at the White House today, the two discussed his next steps and Sen. Hatch urged Rob to get help so that he could possibly serve the country in some capacity down the road,” Whitlock said in an email.
“Whether he takes leave and gets that help now or resigns to focus on making those necessary changes will be up to him,” he added.
Whitlock’s statement comes after Hatch told reporters on Capitol Hill that he urged Porter not to resign.
“I encouraged him to keep a stiff upper lip and work out his problems,” Hatch told reporters, according to CBS News. “And I would prefer him not to resign, just work his way through and do what’s right.”
Two of Porter’s ex-wives, Colbie Holderness and Jennifer Willoughby, have alleged that the Trump aide would become violent and attack them, and also claimed emotional abuse. Holderness provided photos of injuries including a black eye.
Porter denied the allegations in a statement announcing his resignation Thursday and disputed Holderness’s claim that she took the photos of her injury.
“These outrageous allegations are simply false. I took the photos given to the media nearly 15 years ago and the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described. I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign,” Porter said in a statement.
“My commitment to public service speaks for itself. I have always put duty to country first and treated others with respect. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have served in the Trump administration and will seek to ensure a smooth transition when I leave the White House,” he said.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders earlier in the day did not specify when Porter would be exiting the White House.
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