The news that White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned today amid allegations that he physically abused two ex-wives is hardly surprising given the type of characters Donald Trump likes to keep around him.
Even less surprising it the fact that the Trump administration not only urged Porter to stay at his job and fight the allegations (despite photographic evidence of his abuse), but allowed him to work in the White House despite knowing about it. Here was the photo Porter’s first wife Colbie Holderness provided to the FBI when being interviewed about her former husband before he was appointed to his position in the Trump administration for security clearance (which he never received). From The Daily Mail:
Holderness, who is a senior analyst for the U.S. government, spoke to the Mail about “her five-year marriage to Porter, detailing physical and mental abuse.” After marrying him at the age of 23, Holderness was beaten and belittled regularly. She told the Mail:
‘It was a really odd thing that he did. He was angry because we weren’t having sex when he wanted to have sex and he kicked me.
‘It seems such a juvenile thing at the time, but I remember thinking about words my mother had told me when it happened.
‘She had passed away before I graduated from college. She told me that she had once warned my father that if he ever hit her, she would leave him.
‘My father never did anything like that because he’s a very good man – but I remember those words passing through my head right after Rob kicked me. I was thinking, “What do I do? I just got married.”
‘It was a kick which, although it hurt, was ridiculous at the same time. That was the first time he hurt me and then the doors opened. I didn’t do anything and it continued.’
The abuse got worse and worse as Holderness was subjected to choking, being pinned down, and punched in the face.
Jennifer Willoughy, Porters second wife, also told the Mail about the similar abuse she suffered that resulted in her obtaining a protective order with a court in Alexandria, Virginia.
“My experience of our entire marriage was being with a man who could be both charming and romantic and fun – and even thoughtful and kind; and horribly angry and manipulative,” Willoughy said.
In a statement, Porter claimed that the “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.”
As a Martial Arts and boxing instructor with decades of competition and hard sparring, I can say for certainty that the injury Holderness sustained to her eye came from a very hard blow to the head. The bruise looks to be a couple of days old given the yellowing around her eye socket, and came from a well aimed punch. Porter doesn’t just have a temper, he is a violent man who knows how to inflict specific injuries on his victims. Incidentally, Holderness alluded to this in her interview with the Mail:
‘At times, the way he would be physically violent with me was very odd. 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.
‘It was scary but it wasn’t like it was life-threatening. For years, I would go to Mormon bishops and I would try to find the words to explain what was going on but I was at a loss beyond the explanation that he got physical with me.’
That the Trump administration would support someone like this is, well, revolting. But then this is the president who backed an alleged child molester for the US Senate, pardoned a sheriff who was found guilty of racially profiling Latinos, and ran a campaign filled with corrupt criminals who almost certainly colluded with Russia. Trump himself has an extensive history of abusing and sexually assaulting women, so there is little wonder his administration thought nothing of hiring and protecting an alleged woman beater.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.