The Rob Porter scandal continues to get uglier for Donald Trump and his White House. First the media reported that two of Porter’s ex-wives accused him of physical abuse, and one of them had a restraining order against him. Then after Porter resigned, it was reported that Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly knew all about it and kept him on the job anyway. Now a prominent Republican Senator is accusing Trump’s White House into having tricked him into writing a statement in support of Porter.
Even as Porter was resigning, the White House released a statement of support for Porter from GOP Senator Orrin Hatch. Porter previously worked for Hatch’s Office before joining Trump’s White House. But now Hatch says that the White House asked him for that statement awhile ago, before Hatch even knew what Porter was being accused of, according to a new CNN report. He wrote it as a courtesy, and the White House sat on it until the Porter scandal became public, before releasing it to create the false appearance that Hatch was defending Porter against the accusations of violence from his ex-wives.
It’s up to you whether or not you want to believe Orrin Hatch. Even if he is telling the truth, he was being naive and careless by agreeing to write a generic statement defending Porter against unknown accusations. But considering the routinely disingenuous nature of Trump’s White House, we’re inclined to lean toward believing Hatch.
That makes this scandal even uglier for Donald Trump and his White House. They didn’t merely keep a guy on the job after learning that a judge had handed out a restraining order based on evidence that Porter was violent. They then bent over backward to try to discredit his accusers, to the point of apparently duping a Republican Senator in the process.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report