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Trump aide quits over abuse allegations

AP file photo

White House staff secretary Rob Porter, center, with U.S. President Donald Trump and then White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, right, in Washington on Jan. 20, 2017

The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — One of U.S. President Donald Trump’s top White House aides resigned Wednesday following allegations of domestic abuse leveled against him by his two ex-wives.

Staff secretary Rob Porter said in a written statement that allegations that became public this week are “outrageous” and “simply false.” Porter said photos published of his former spouses — in which one appears to have a black eye — were “given to the media nearly 15 years ago and the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described.”

Porter added in a written statement. “I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign.” Porter said he will leave the White House after a transition period.

Porter’s former wives recounted physical, verbal and emotional abuse they say he subjected them to during their marriages.

Porter’s first wife, Colbie Holderness, told the DailyMail.com that Porter choked and punched her during the five years they were husband and wife.

Porter’s second wife, Jennifer Willoughby, also described for the DailyMail.com how Porter once dragged her naked and wet from the shower to yell at her. She filed a protective order against him. Stories published online by the DailyMail.com included photos of Holderness with a bruised eye socket that she said she suffered when Porter punched her in the face while on vacation in Italy.

Neither Holderness nor Willoughby could be reached for comment Wednesday. Telephone messages left by The Associated Press were not returned.

Porter, 40, has been credited with working with White House chief of staff John Kelly to control the flow of information to the president. His influence growing in recent months, Porter was often seen with Trump when the president traveled and as he signed legislation or proclamations. He helped craft Trump’s well-received State of the Union address and was credited internally for helping bridge divides in a White House riven by rivalries and for helping more effectively roll out new policy.Speech

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