A senior advisor to the Trump White House has been accused of abuse by his two ex-wives.
Rob Porter, President Donald Trump’s Staff Secretary — who has been described as an important player in the Oval Office — has been accused of being “verbally, emotionally and physically abusive” by his first wife Colbie Holderness, who provided The Intercept’s Ryan Grim with several photos revealing a black eye allegedly inflicted by Porter during a trip to Italy.
Senior White House aide Rob Porter physically assaulted two ex-wives, they tell @theintercept. Full story to come in the morning.
His first wife, Colbie Holderness, provided these photos from a vacation they took together in Florence, Italy: pic.twitter.com/tl3TbyGA8Y
— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) February 7, 2018
Holderness, a government analyst, was married to Porter for five years. She told the Daily Mail that in terms of physical violence, Porter had choked, kicked and punched her, as well as forced her to take a leave of absence from grad school due to his emotional abuse.
“He would throw me down on the bed, then put his full body weight on top of me, then grind a knee or elbow into my body, expressing rage,” she said.
Porter’s second wife, Jennifer Willoughby, also confirmed Porter’s abusive tendencies to the Daily Mail.
Willoughby said she spent their marriage “walking on eggshells” due to Porter’s anger issues, noting that he once dragged her wet and naked out of the shower and called her a “f*cking b*tch” on their honeymoon. She filed a complaint with police after Porter punched a glass door to their home, and a protective order against him in 2010 after he violated their separation agreement and refused to leave the apartment.
Both women were reportedly interviewed by the FBI about Porter’s abuse when the agency was determining whether to issue him security clearance in February 2017.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly defended Porter against the allegations, noting, “(Porter) is a man of true integrity and honor and I can’t say enough good things about him.”
“He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional,” Kelly said of Porter. “I am proud to serve alongside him.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Porter “is someone of the highest integrity and exemplary character.”
There have been reports that Porter is now dating White House Communication Director Hope Hicks.
Before joining the Trump administration, Porter was previously chief of staff for Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch and also worked for Republican senators Rob Portman of Ohio and Mike Lee of Utah.