Trump frustrated with Hope Hicks's role in Porter scandal

US White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter resigns after domestic abuse allegations

Rob Porter gives Donald Trump a document as former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus looks on. | Jonathan Ernst Reuters

Willoughby was also "worried" about Hope Hicks, the White House communications director and Porter's current partner.

And despite their rocky union, it seems that Porter and Willoughby do have a cordial relationship as he called his ex-twice earlier this week about a blog post she was preparing to share about her abuser.

When asked what he had asked her to say, Willoughby responded: 'I don't remember the exact wording, but it was something along the lines of the post does not accurately depict my marriage. And in 2010, following their separation, she filed a temporary restraining order against Porter after he punched in a window of their home.

The White House's public posture Thursday stood in stark contrast to the defensive approach it took when the accusations against Porter by his two ex-wives were first published Tuesday.

On Thursday, the deputy press secretary pushed back against those charges, saying Kelly was not "fully aware" of the allegations against Porter until the graphic photos surfaced on Wednesday.

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Routinely, Trump has accepted claims of innocence from men facing similar allegations, including Fox News head Roger Ailes, anchor Bill O'Reilly and former Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who was accused of molesting teenage girls.

Speaking during the White House briefing on Thursday, spokesman Raj Shah said Hicks had recused herself from some matters related to the Porter fallout.

The high-ranking official in question, Rob Porter, was the White House staff secretary until Wednesday, when information from his two former females came to light, accusing him of mistreating them physically and psychologically. And they came amid rampant White House finger-pointing about who knew what, and when, about the severity of the spousal abuse allegations. Though he is coy about what he's getting at when he asks about Mulvaney, most aides and associates assume he is referencing the chief of staff position. "He wants to see us move from a process now existing in law, of extended family chain migration, towards merit-based legal immigration reform", Shah said.

Porter's second ex-wife, Jennifer Willoughby, told CNN that on the honeymoon after their 2009 wedding, "He started calling me names, calling me a "f***ing bitch, ' how I behaved was 'f***ing ridiculous" and most of that was instigated around my not having sex with him often enough on our honeymoon". He was bombarded by questions on the White House advisor's sudden exit, the USA media reported.

Kelly wasn't the only senior White House aide to know about Porter's particular situation.

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The president's glowing praise of a staff member accused of serial violence against women was similar to Trump's own denials of sexual impropriety in the face of accusations from more than a dozen women. "The truth must be determined", Shah said.

Porter was operating with an interim security clearance at the time of his resignation Wednesday.

Numerous commenters keyed in on Willoughby's description of the loneliness and isolation of abuse. She also said his departure from the White House was not imminent.

"I was completely honest with my experience of the marriage including telling them instances of abuse or police contact", said Willoughby, adding that Porter was curious about what she was going to say. Meanwhile, a photo of Holderness, with a black eye she says she got when Porter hit her, has been circulated.

Willoughby said she, like Holderness, met with the Federal Bureau of Investigation before her husband took the job a year ago and told them all the things that she has since discussed publicly.

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"Rob Porter has been effective in his role as staff secretary".

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