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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.

Confirmed Cases: 64400

Reported Deaths: 1825
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5416112
DeSoto347227
Madison236360
Harrison228735
Rankin220231
Jackson215641
Jones182857
Forrest170155
Washington154835
Lauderdale137990
Lee129732
Neshoba126490
Lamar117713
Oktibbeha107737
Lowndes102333
Bolivar101032
Warren99531
Scott97820
Panola96012
Sunflower94223
Copiah92928
Lafayette90714
Leflore88261
Pike86133
Holmes85948
Grenada81921
Yazoo80312
Lincoln78741
Pontotoc7808
Leake77625
Simpson76730
Wayne74921
Monroe73151
Coahoma68410
Tate68327
Marion63419
Marshall6169
Covington60313
Adams59625
Winston59315
Union55215
George5454
Newton53011
Pearl River51537
Tallahatchie51210
Attala51024
Walthall48219
Chickasaw43819
Noxubee43811
Claiborne39913
Calhoun3929
Smith38913
Clay38014
Jasper3799
Alcorn3775
Prentiss3699
Hancock34914
Tishomingo3445
Itawamba32310
Clarke32225
Tippah32013
Tunica3076
Yalobusha30410
Lawrence3027
Montgomery3023
Humphreys28111
Carroll24811
Quitman2381
Greene23011
Kemper22715
Jefferson Davis2256
Perry2207
Amite2176
Webster21112
Jefferson1936
Wilkinson19313
Sharkey1913
Stone1603
Choctaw1294
Benton1280
Franklin1152
Issaquena241
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 91776

Reported Deaths: 1639
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12186230
Mobile9269204
Montgomery6350148
Madison512227
Tuscaloosa400269
Baldwin332223
Shelby311932
Marshall300134
Unassigned287856
Lee255442
Morgan227015
Etowah196728
DeKalb172113
Elmore163337
Calhoun162713
Walker147964
Houston133412
Dallas129823
Russell12672
St. Clair125214
Limestone122713
Franklin121520
Cullman117112
Colbert112213
Lauderdale111113
Autauga103021
Escambia98115
Talladega94613
Jackson8904
Chambers83238
Tallapoosa82778
Dale79823
Butler75435
Blount7453
Chilton7386
Coffee7255
Covington71620
Pike6727
Barbour5645
Lowndes56124
Marion54724
Marengo52914
Clarke4919
Hale45926
Bullock44411
Winston43511
Perry4324
Wilcox41110
Monroe3964
Randolph39210
Bibb3844
Pickens3769
Conecuh37310
Sumter36018
Lawrence3251
Macon31613
Washington31512
Crenshaw3073
Choctaw27612
Cherokee2497
Greene24711
Henry2473
Geneva2430
Clay2255
Lamar2052
Fayette1785
Cleburne1211
Coosa952
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