White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday said that President Donald Trump expressed well-wishes to a former aide who resigned amid spousal abuse accusations because Trump “hopes that all Americans can be successful.”
“I think the President of the United States hopes that all Americans can be successful in whatever they do and if they’ve had any issues in the past, I’m not confirming or denying one way or the other, but if they do, the President wants success for all Americans,” Sanders said at her daily briefing.
Former staff secretary Rob Porter resigned last week after his two ex-wives publicly accused him of domestic abuse. In the immediate aftermath of Porter’s departure, Trump wished Porter “well” and said “he worked very hard.”
“We found out about it recently and I was surprised by it, but we certainly wish him well and it’s a tough time for him,” Trump told reporters. “It was very sad when we heard about it.”
Trump on Saturday complained that “there is no recovery for someone falsely accused.” He did not specifically refer to Porter, but claimed that people’s “lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation.”
He has not expressed similar well-wishes to Colbie Holderness and Jennie Willoughby, Porter’s ex-wives.
Trump is no stranger to misconduct accusations: During his 2016 campaign, multiple women accused Trump — variously — of inappropriately touching them, groping them, grabbing them, entering rooms where they were changing clothes, forcibly kissing them and making other inappropriate and unwanted advances.