Conway on Porter's alleged abuse: 'I have no reason not to believe these women'

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway says she was "horrified" by recent accusations that White House staff secretary ...

Posted: Feb 12, 2018 6:33 AM
Updated: Feb 12, 2018 6:33 AM

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway says she was "horrified" by recent accusations that White House staff secretary Rob Porter abused his ex-wives, adding that she has "no reason not to believe" the women who came forward with the allegations.

"In this case, you have contemporaneous police reports, you have women speaking to the FBI under threat of perjury ... you have photographs, and when you look at all of that pulled together, Rob Porter did the right thing by resigning," Conway said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

"I have no reason not to believe the women," Conway added.

Conway's comments stand in stark contrast to remarks from President Donald Trump, who tweeted Saturday: "Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. ... There is no recovery for someone falsely accused - life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?"

Trump also told reporters on Friday that Porter's departure was "very sad" and that "he did a very good job while he was in the White House," but he did not express sympathy for the women Porter allegedly abused, instead focusing on Porter's claim of innocence.

Conway, however, said Trump is "very disturbed" by Porter's alleged behavior, a remark that White House legislative affairs director Marc Short echoed on Sunday.

"In talking with the President, I think he's saddened about what happened with Rob," Short told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. "I think he's very disturbed by it, and I think he's very disappointed. I think he believes that the resignation was appropriate."

The allegations of domestic abuse against Porter first came to light last Tuesday. Two of Porter's ex-wives say they suffered years of abuse, including physical altercations. Porter said he would be resigning from his role at the White House shortly after and has called the allegations "outrageous" and "simply false."

Porter's ex-wives detailed the allegations to the FBI over the course of a routine background check, they told CNN. By early fall of 2017, it was widely known among Trump's top aides -- including chief of staff John Kelly -- that Porter was facing troubles in obtaining his security clearance and that his ex-wives claimed he had abused them. No action was taken to remove him from the staff, and instead, Kelly and others oversaw an elevation in Porter's standing.

Both Conway and Short defended how the White House handled the situation. Short told "Meet the Press" that Kelly had learned the full extent of the allegations last Tuesday, "and by Wednesday Rob Porter was out." Conway said people "should look at the result of how this (was) handled."

"The result is that, one week ago, Rob Porter was a top aide to President Trump, and today he is out of the White House," she said.

Last Friday, Kelly made it clear that he would resign if the President wanted him to, a source with knowledge of the matter told CNN.

However, Short told "Meet the Press" that Kelly had not offered his resignation, and Conway told CNN anchor Jake Tapper that Kelly's job is not in jeopardy.

"I spoke to the President last night, and I told him I would be with you today," Conway said on "State of the Union." He said, 'Tell Jake I have full faith in Chief of Staff John Kelly and that I am not actively searching for replacements.' He said, 'I saw that all over the news today -- I have faith in him,' and he does."

She later said of the President: "He says Gen. Kelly is doing a great job and that he has full faith in him, and I think he looks at the full measure of all of us."

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on "State of the Union" later Sunday morning that Kelly, whom he considers a friend, should try to stay out of the press as Porter's story unfolds.

"I encourage John to hunker down and do his job, fewer public statements," Johnson said.

Johnson refused to say whether he would have fired Porter if he were in a similar situation, but noted that "sometimes you have to make the hard choice to move on and find somebody else."

"When you're in public office, you have to assume that sooner or later everything is going to get out ... and some sort of calculation was made there," he added.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 16769

Reported Deaths: 803
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds110426
Madison77829
Lauderdale76569
Neshoba73945
Jones70933
Scott66312
Forrest60039
DeSoto59310
Rankin4639
Leake45512
Holmes44431
Copiah3344
Jackson31415
Attala31218
Yazoo2985
Newton2924
Oktibbeha28314
Leflore28238
Lincoln28131
Wayne2803
Monroe26925
Harrison2687
Lamar2525
Lowndes2529
Pearl River21231
Pike20411
Adams20416
Warren19910
Washington1998
Lee1978
Noxubee1956
Covington1832
Bolivar16911
Jasper1684
Clarke15619
Smith15611
Lafayette1564
Kemper15611
Chickasaw14314
Coahoma1324
Clay1254
Winston1241
Carroll11911
Marion1169
Claiborne1165
Yalobusha1116
Grenada1104
Lawrence1071
Simpson1050
Sunflower963
Tate931
Hancock9012
Marshall893
Union897
Itawamba897
Webster885
Panola873
Wilkinson859
Montgomery841
Jefferson Davis823
Tippah7611
Calhoun684
Walthall670
Amite651
Humphreys647
Tunica583
Prentiss533
Choctaw522
Perry513
Pontotoc493
Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie311
Greene301
George302
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19387

Reported Deaths: 676
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2341123
Jefferson1927105
Montgomery190544
Tuscaloosa85316
Marshall7149
Franklin5939
Lee56334
Shelby53619
Tallapoosa43566
Butler43121
Walker3973
Elmore38110
Chambers36326
Madison3594
Unassigned3144
Morgan3141
Baldwin2969
Dallas2963
Lowndes26912
Etowah26512
DeKalb2603
Autauga2485
Coffee2401
Sumter2369
Houston2275
Pike2231
Bullock2197
Colbert1972
Hale19210
Russell1870
Barbour1831
Marengo1796
Lauderdale1752
Calhoun1693
Cullman1631
Wilcox1587
Choctaw15310
Clarke1492
St. Clair1372
Randolph1288
Dale1250
Marion12511
Talladega1215
Pickens1215
Limestone1100
Chilton1081
Greene955
Macon944
Winston920
Jackson863
Henry842
Covington831
Crenshaw803
Escambia793
Bibb761
Washington746
Blount641
Lawrence510
Monroe492
Geneva450
Perry430
Conecuh421
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151
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