Kelly condemns domestic violence in email to White House staff: report

Kelly condemns domestic violence in email to White House staff: report
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE's chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE emailed White House staffers on Thursday to condemn domestic violence amid scrutiny this week over the White House's handling of domestic abuse allegations involving a top aide.

In an email obtained by CNN, Kelly called the allegations leveled against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter "shocking and troubling." Porter resigned on Wednesday after two ex-wives detailed years of alleged physical and emotional abuse.

"While we are all processing the shocking and troubling allegations made against a former White House staffer, I want you to know that we all take matters of domestic violence seriously," Kelly wrote to staffers on Thursday, according to CNN.

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"Domestic violence is abhorrent and has no place in our society," Kelly added.

The email from Trump's top aide follows a Washington Post report that Kelly learned about domestic abuse allegations against Porter last fall but neglected to act upon them until the claims surfaced in the Daily Mail on Tuesday.

Colbie Holderness and Jennifer Willoughby told The Daily Mail they experienced physical and emotional abuse during their marriages to Porter.

Porter resigned on Wednesday after images of his first wife's bruised face emerged online. In a statement announcing his departure, Porter denied the allegations, calling them "vile."

“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.

Kelly issued a second statement late Wednesday calling the allegations "shocking" after initially defending the aide.

"I was shocked by the new allegations released today against Rob Porter. There is no place for domestic violence in our society,” Kelly said.

“I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that I have come to know since becoming Chief of Staff, and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation,” he added. “I accepted his resignation earlier today, and will ensure a swift and orderly transition."