Last week, news broke that Rob Porter, one of the president’s aides, had been accused of physical abuse by both of his ex-wives, who abruptly resigned from his position at the White House. The news upset many, and only more so once the president came out in support of his former aide.
While Porter denied the allegations, the president tweeted over the weekend, accusing “false allegations” of ruining people’s lives — and of course, many took it to mean that Trump stands by his former aide.
“Peoples [sic] lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation,” the president tweeted Saturday morning. “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?”
Porter’s ex-wives both spoke with CNN Wednesday to outline their allegations, with his first wife, Colbie Holderness alleging that the Porter first abused her during their honeymoon in 2003, when she alleged that Porter kicked her during a fight. Holderness also accused her ex of punching her in the eye while the pair were in Italy on a separate vacation in 2005.
Porter’s second ex-wife Jennifer Willoughby told the network that she mostly suffered verbal abuse from Porter, beginning during her honeymoon in 2009. “He started calling me names, calling me a ‘f*cking bitch,’ how I behaved was ‘f*cking ridiculous’ and most of that was instigated around my not having sex with him often enough on our honeymoon,” Willoughby said. She also accused Porter of physically assaulting her once in 2010, which resulted in police recommending that Willoughby take out a temporary protective order against Porter. A third, unnamed woman has also accused Porter of abuse as recently as 2016.
The president’s assertion this weekend that individuals accused of assault or abuse lose their careers is a false one. The president himself has nearly 20 active claims of assault against him but it didn’t stop him from being elected to the highest office in the country. Men like Bill Cosby, Johnny Depp, and others remain in profitable careers even after allegations of abuse.
Besides that, false allegations are very rare. Trump’s tweet in apparent support of Porter prompted many on Twitter to call the president out for his previous false allegations, most famously against the Central Park Five — five young racialized men (four of whom were Black and one Hispanic) who were falsely accused of assaulting a white female jogger in 1989, and spent between six and 13 years in prison for the crime that DNA evidence would later prove they did not commit.
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(Photos via Mark Wilson/Getty Images)