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POLITICS (National): President Donald Trump, Rob Porter, abuse claims, speaking out?: Report/analysis, "WH response to abuse claims shines light on victims' fears" ....  

***President Donald Trump, Rob Porter, abuse claims, speaking out?

* Washington Post (AP):  "WH response to abuse claims shines light on victims' fears" - From the WP:

WASHINGTON — When Jennifer Willoughby and Colbie Holderness stepped forward to tell the story of how they were physically, verbally and emotionally abused by their ex-husband, who had since become a top White House aide, President Donald Trump had nothing but good things to say about the man they had accused of domestic violence. Rob Porter “did a great job while he was at the White House. And we hope he has a wonderful career,” Trump said Friday, adding that the aide had vehemently maintained his innocence. The president followed that up Saturday with a tweet that “lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation.”

Porter’s resignation was announced Wednesday, just hours after a photograph was published of Holderness with a black eye, allegedly inflicted by Porter. Trump’s staff secretary called the allegations from his former spouses “outrageous” and “simply false.”

Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, had defended Porter on Tuesday as “a man of true integrity and honor” and “a friend, confidante and trusted professional.” By some accounts, White House counsel Don McGahn had been apprised of some accusations about Porter at least four times, including as early as January 2017.

The White House response serves as a high-profile illustration of the obstacles many women face in speaking out about their abuse. First and foremost: Will anyone believe them? 


Months before Willoughby spoke to reporters and identified Porter by name, she published a blog post explaining the fear and anxiety she felt about leaving her marriage and going public about the abuse she said she had suffered at the hands of a powerful man who was well-liked and well-respected.

“Everyone loved him. People commented all the time how lucky I was. Strangers complimented him to me every time we went out. But in my home, the abuse was insidious. The threats were personal. The terror was real. And yet I stayed,” she wrote. “When I tried to get help, I was counseled to consider carefully how what I said might affect his career. And so I kept my mouth shut and stayed.”

In an interview on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” Willoughby said she’s often asked why she stayed in a relationship with Porter if he was a “monster.” “The reality is he’s not a monster,” she said. “He is an intelligent, kind, chivalrous, caring, professional man. And he is deeply troubled and angry and violent. I don’t think those things are mutually exclusive.” ................