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What makes no sense about Donald Trump's Rob Porter response

On Monday afternoon, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders read a prepared statement about the White House's hand...

Posted: Feb 13, 2018 9:43 AM
Updated: Feb 13, 2018 9:43 AM

On Monday afternoon, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders read a prepared statement about the White House's handling of allegations that former staff secretary Rob Porter had physically and mentally abused both his ex-wives.

"The President and the entire administration take domestic violence very seriously and believe all allegations need to be investigated thoroughly,"-Sanders said. "Above all, the President supports victims of domestic violence and believes everyone should be treated fairly and with due process."

Asked why those conciliatory words seemed to be at such odds with Trump's own statements -- on Friday and then in a tweet on Saturday -- about the Porter situation, Sanders responded that Trump "literally dictated that statement to me."

So...

Donald Trump is a president who has redefined how a president communicates. Not just on Twitter, where his penchant for tweeting off-message (and politically incorrect) sentiments has come to be a defining trait, but also in his drop-ins on the press corps and his extended question-and-answer sessions as he is boarding Marine One outside the White House.

The simple fact -- and Trump knows this -- is that statements (or tweets) coming directly from him mean more -- and, recent history suggests, are a more accurate depiction of what he really thinks.

There have been an untold number of times in the first year-plus of Trump's presidency when his White House has tried to push a certain storyline, only to be totally undermined by the President himself.

And so, if Trump really wanted to correct the record on his views on Rob Porter and the women who have accused him of domestic abuse, he could pick up his phone and rap out 280 characters on it. Or he could take a minute at the start of a public appearance -- like the one Trump did on infrastructure today -- to say exactly what he apparently told Sanders.

He didn't do that. Why? My guess is because, well, he doesn't believe it. Or he doesn't believe just that. As in: He may sympathize with the victims but he also likes Rob Porter (and Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly and Roy Moore) and tends to believe them over the accusations made against them by women.

The Point: At the root of all this is Trump's own denial of the accusations against him by more than a dozen women who came out during the 2016 campaign. Admit that the allegations against Porter are credible and need to be believed, and it becomes that much more difficult to deny the allegations against you.

Read Monday's full edition of The Point, and sign up to get future editions delivered to your inbox:

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 261167

Reported Deaths: 5713
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17561191
Hinds16687329
Harrison14050202
Rankin11102217
Jackson10729188
Lee9014143
Madison8495168
Jones6607114
Forrest6135122
Lauderdale6067192
Lowndes5490120
Lafayette511794
Lamar499865
Washington4904125
Bolivar4087109
Oktibbeha403581
Panola380981
Pontotoc374757
Monroe3651106
Warren3649103
Union353263
Marshall352069
Neshoba3464154
Pearl River3422105
Leflore3090109
Lincoln304287
Sunflower290373
Hancock288461
Tate279062
Alcorn270754
Pike268180
Itawamba266662
Scott256048
Yazoo253756
Prentiss251153
Copiah247649
Tippah247550
Coahoma245954
Simpson241471
Leake236167
Grenada222471
Marion220273
Covington219072
Adams212370
Wayne208432
Winston205870
George203539
Newton197346
Attala196461
Tishomingo193861
Chickasaw188444
Jasper177838
Holmes171368
Clay164237
Tallahatchie155635
Stone149525
Clarke144762
Calhoun139922
Smith127725
Yalobusha121134
Walthall114037
Greene112929
Noxubee112225
Montgomery111236
Carroll106422
Lawrence105617
Perry104031
Amite100826
Webster95424
Tunica88221
Claiborne87825
Jefferson Davis87727
Benton84823
Humphreys84224
Kemper80020
Quitman7049
Franklin69617
Choctaw62513
Wilkinson59625
Jefferson56520
Sharkey44817
Issaquena1606
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 436087

Reported Deaths: 6486
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63969994
Mobile31211565
Madison27851208
Tuscaloosa21233271
Montgomery19698326
Shelby19093130
Baldwin16981188
Lee13036105
Morgan12526134
Etowah11987179
Calhoun11441206
Marshall10357123
Houston8886158
Limestone827876
Cullman8203108
Elmore8120104
DeKalb7828103
Lauderdale7798103
St. Clair7763125
Talladega6394111
Walker6002177
Jackson594644
Colbert545276
Blount543986
Autauga532761
Coffee456762
Dale406883
Franklin372448
Russell349212
Chilton342873
Covington336068
Escambia330144
Dallas312096
Tallapoosa3120107
Chambers301170
Clarke293336
Pike261131
Marion251558
Lawrence250752
Winston232742
Bibb221248
Geneva208746
Marengo206529
Pickens199031
Hale182742
Barbour179337
Fayette177029
Butler172459
Cherokee164330
Henry158224
Monroe151320
Randolph144336
Washington140127
Clay129146
Crenshaw122944
Macon120937
Cleburne120724
Lamar119721
Lowndes113736
Wilcox106622
Bullock102228
Perry99118
Conecuh96821
Sumter90026
Greene76823
Coosa63215
Choctaw51724
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