Sanders defends herself from criticism from Porter ex-wife

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended herself on Tuesday from criticism from one of the ex-wives of Rob Porter who’s accused the former White House staffer of abuse.

Colbie Holderness, one of the women claiming domestic violence at Porter’s hands, faulted Sanders for not addressing whether President TrumpDonald TrumpMcCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Biden's Supreme Court reform study panel notes 'considerable' risks to court expansion Bennie Thompson not ruling out subpoenaing Trump MORE believes the accusations in an opinion piece published Tuesday. 

"While I cannot say I am surprised, I expected a woman to do better," Holderness wrote in The Washington Post


When asked if she has any regrets about how she's addressed the situation, Sanders argued that the White House is doing its best to prevent domestic violence and cautioned against Holderness assuming how she is responding in private to the accusations.

"We do the very best job we have every single day. I would never presume to understand anything going on with that individual, nor would I think that she could presume whats going on with me or the way I'm responding," Sanders said.

She went on to state that the White House has "condemned domestic violence in every way possible," adding the the president's budget funds the Violence Against Women Act. 

"We are looking for ways we can take action to help prevent this from ever happening to anyone. To presume I feel differently is simply a very strong mischaracterization of who I am and what this White House is," she added. 

Porter resigned from his position as White House staff secretary last week after news reports on the alleged domestic violence emerged. The administration has presented conflicting reports about when senior staffers learned the details of the claims against Porter.

At the same news conference, Sanders again refused to answer whether Trump believes Holderness and Jennifer Willoughby, another ex-wife of Porter's accusing him of assault. 

"The president takes all of these accusations very seriously. He believes in due process; above everything else he supports the victims of any type of violence and certainly would condemn any violence against anyone," Sanders said when asked. 

In interviews with CNN on Tuesday, Holderness and Willoughby said the White House has yet to reach out to them.

"I think how it makes me feel is not as important as the message it sends to others," Holderness said. "Reaching out to Jennie and me would, in some small way, provide support for their assertion that that they take domestic violence seriously."