Trump 'shows great compassion' for women, Kellyanne Conway says

Trump 'shows great compassion' for women, Kellyanne Conway says

Domestic abuse allegations engulfed the White House last week, after it was disclosed that Porter's two ex-wives had reported incidents of physical and emotional abuse involving the White House staff secretary while he was being considered for a security clearance.

He tweeted Saturday that lives were being destroyed by a "mere allegation". Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) that said, "If [Trump] wants due process for the over dozen sexual assault allegations against him, let's have Congressional hearings tomorrow".

The White House response serves as a high-profile illustration of the obstacles many women face in speaking out about their abuse.

Highlighting a timeline in which Kelly first gained full knowledge of the severity of the allegations and told Porter to leave within 40 minutes, Pirro pointed out that Kelly couldn't have known Porter was a wife-beater beforehand since Porter didn't walk around with a "scarlet letter".

The latest imbroglios involving White House personnel are taking place during a turbulent cultural conversation about sexual harassment, with powerful people being laid low by allegations that sometimes stretch back decades.

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.

"It so clearly illustrates that even today, in 2018, a lot of people react to these sorts of allegations by assuming that the woman is lying, or by indicating that, in essence, how a man behaves with women is nobody's business, that it's irrelevant", said Emily Martin, National Women's Law Center general counsel and vice president for education and workplace justice.

Many White House senior staff members remained stunned by the accusations against Porter, a well-liked and seemingly mild-mannered graduate of Harvard and Oxford. CNN's Jake Tapper tweeted back: "In point of fact, 2 ex-wives talking on the record to journalists and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and one ex-girlfriend on background, with a photo of a black eye and a police report, is not 'a mere allegation'".

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Aides' attempts to explain the defensive response from Trump and Kelly only raised more questions. The US president's remarks bore a likeness to his defence of sex scandal-hit Senate candidate Roy Moore in 2017.

"(T) he West Wing continues to function. Others insisted that while he was aware of the broad strokes of accusations against Porter, and while he could have made more of an effort to learn more, he trusted the staff secretary's denials.

Kelly has indicated he would step aside if he lost the faith of the president.

"The perception of Kelly as above politics has been critical to his success in the West Wing".

Kelly went on to say that he had learned of Porter's true situation less than an hour before he removed him from his job.

Meanwhile, a number of Democrats denounced Trump's comments about Porter and his lack of empathy for the women who alleged abuse.

Yet the White House's handling of the matters, specifically Porter, has largely focused on Kelly.

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