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White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter talks to President Donald Trump at his golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey, August 12, 2017. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

'Deeply troubling'

Former Trump staffer accused of abuse writes op-ed — and his ex-wife fires back

By WITW Staff on March 22, 2019

Rob Porter, the former Trump White House staff secretary who resigned amid disturbing domestic abuse allegations from both of his former wives, made a quiet return to public life last week with a pro-Trump op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

On Thursday, Jennifer Willoughby, who was married to Porter from 2009 to 2013, responded with her own op-ed in the Washington Post, writing that her ex-husband’s “sudden return to the public eye is deeply troubling to me because he he has yet to candidly address the thing that should — that must — come first: his personal conduct during his two marriages.”

Willoughby previously alleged emotional and verbal abuse by Porter during their marriage — including one incident where she said he physically pulled her “naked and dripping” out of the shower to scream at her. Porter’s wife before her, Colbie Holderness, has alleged verbal, emotional, and physical abuse, and shared photographs of herself with a black eye and a swollen cheekbone that she said porter Porter caused. Porter has categorically denied all allegations of abusive behavior.

In her op-ed, Willoughby said she saw nothing wrong with Porter “using his considerable professional skills and knowledge to make a contribution to our society.” But to give him a public platform in a highly respected media outlet before he had shown “regret or contrition for his actions,” she explained, “elevates his opinions above my and Colbie’s dignity.”

“True redemption is not a given,” she noted. “It is earned.”

The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by NewsCorp and Fox News magnate Rupert Murdoch, has thus far refused comment on the decision to publish Porter’s op-ed.

Read the full story at the New York Times.


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