WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders emphasized Monday that President Donald Trump supports victims of domestic violence, a statement that comes as the West Wing’s response to former aide Rob Porter enters its second week.
“The president supports victims of domestic violence and believes everybody should be treated fairly and with due process,” Sanders said.
The comment came after Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Friday that the White House hopes Porter, who has been accused of abusing two of his ex-wives, “has a wonderful career.”
“As you probably know, he says he’s innocent and I think you have to remember that,” Trump said. “We absolutely wish him well, he did a very good job when he was at the White House.”
Critics said the president’s remarks came off as tone deaf since Trump did not offer support or even mention the two accusers.
In a tweet over the weekend addressing the controversy, Trump made a similar omission.
Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2018
Sanders told reporters Monday that her statement regarding the president’s views on those affected by domestic violence came directly from Trump himself, but could not say why the president did not publicly deliver a statement to that effect.
Porter has claimed that the allegations are “flatly false,” but his ex-wives have both continually claimed that he abused them both emotionally and physically.
Before turning to the media, the two women reportedly relayed their stories to the FBI during Porter’s background investigation.
Sanders declined to say if or when the FBI had informed the White House about concerns surrounding Porter.