WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – The White House is standing by Chief of Staff John Kelly following the departures of two presidential aides.
Rob Porter and David Sorenson resigned from the administration over allegations they abused their wives.
Questions remain about how Kelly and the top White House lawyer handling the allegations against Porter months ago when they became aware of them.
The White House is disputing reports President Trump considered replacing Kelly over the Rob Porter domestic violence scandal.
“He has full confidence in his current Chief of Staff General John Kelly,” said presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway.
Porter’s resignation was announced Wednesday after photographs surfaced of Porter’s ex-wife, Colbie Holderness, with a black eye.
Both Holderness and Porter’s other ex-wife, Jennifer Willoughby have accused the former White House staff secretary of physical and emotional abuse during their marriages.
White House Counsel alerted Kelly to the Allegations in November.
“I think the photographs took everybody by surprise,” said White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.
Mulvaney called the White House response completely reasonable and normal.
“You don’t want to throw people out on the street based just upon the allegation,” he said. “But as soon as it became apparent us that the allegations were true, Rob Porter had to go.
A close ally to the President tells CBS News he was blindsided by the Porter allegations and called him a quote “sick puppy”.
But publicly the President has been supportive.
“He says he’s innocent and I think you have to remember that,” Trump said Friday.
Also last week White House speechwriter David Sorenson resigned after a news report detailed allegations of abuse by his ex-wife.
Sorensen tells CBS News was the one who was abused.
On Saturday the president tweeted “peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation is there no such thing any longer as due process?”
In a statement Porter’s second wife, Jennie Willoughby, said the President’s words were meant to imply that abuse is something to be questioned and doubted but that her truth will not be diminished.