Several senior aides fanned out on the morning talk shows to explain how the White House handled the departure of staff secretary Rob Porter, a rising West Wing star who exited after two ex-wives came forward with allegations of spousal abuse. It was unclear from the Post report if that was Sorensen's version of what Corbett claimed was him running over her foot.
Porter, who denies the allegations, stepped down from his White House job Wednesday.
Sorenson denied the allegations, instead blaming Corbett for the physical violence.
The Post says Sorensen's ex-wife claimed he was violent and emotionally abusive during their short-lived marriage. Yet, he and other top White House officials reportedly knew for weeks and in some cases months about Porter's domestic abuse scandal, an action that may have jeopardized national security.
"We immediately confronted the staffer, he denied the allegations and he resigned today", spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement Friday. "I think there was probably some. lack of communication between different elements in the White House", Short told NBC.More news: McConnell announces budget deal to avoid government shutdown
"What that clearly says to me is that the president is one of those people who either automatically disbelieves women and believes men, or arguably even worse, believes the woman who makes the allegations but thinks that should not be a barrier to her abuser's success", said Martin.
Porter worked directly with Kelly, the chief of staff, and was considered a skilled insider. One of them, Jennifer Willoughby, posted about it in detail on Instagram in April 2017 and wrote of Porter that "When I tried to get help, I was counselled to consider carefully how what I said might affect his career".
Burnett said, "The president wants you to know that Porter strongly says he's innocent".
But this is not the first time the White House has found itself in the middle of the #MeToo moment. "We certainly wish him well, and it's a tough time for him", Trump said in the Oval Office. Kelly, along with Porter, helped organize the West Wing's policy and decision-making process and infused the staff with a clearer sense of goal, officials said. The staff secretary resigned later Wednesday.
But he was supportive of his former staff secretary.More news: Turkish jets resume airstrikes over Syrian Kurdish enclave
But Kelly's handling of the Porter affair rattled some aides, who questioned his full-throated defence of an accused batterer, according to more than a half-dozen White House officials and outside advisers who were not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.
White House officials said they learned about Corbett's allegations - she had confided to the Federal Bureau of Investigation last fall - Thursday night and immediately confronted Sorensen, before the Post inquired about them.
Trump, who was recorded on tape prior to his presidency boasting about sexually assaulting women, has denied allegations of sexual misconduct from more than a dozen women, and said he was the victim of a "smear campaign".
O'Donnell's tweet seemed to allude to the Michael Wolff book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House", which insinuates that President Trump is having an extramarital affair with someone in the White House.
West Wing staffers continue to wonder why Kelly would keep the Porter allegations from the president, and why he defended Porter so aggressively when presented with allegations by the Mail.
"That's like saying that axe murderer out there, he's a great painter", said former Vice President Joe Biden. "Is there any other crime where there could be the explanation the reason why we should not pay attention to the transgression is because they're good at something?"More news: Israeli air strikes against Syria 'biggest since 1982'
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