Calling on John Kelly and others at White House to apologize for Rob Porter coverup

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Colbie Holderness (right) says departing White House aide Rob Porter (middle) punched her when they were married. Chief of Staff John Kelly (left)

Let’s admit that Trump and his Administration has had so many days of head-scratching, what-in-the-world-were-they-thinking moments that it would be impossible to list them all.

From tweets from President Donald Trump himself, to Michael Wolff hanging out in the White House to write his fictional, but based-on-real-life book, a few questionable hires (can anyone say Anthony Scaramucci?), constant leaks and in-fighting, the self-inflicted wounds won’t stop.

That said, just when you think it can’t get worse — it does. This week we saw a White House that defended Rob Porter, a man with a mountain of evidence against him for at least two cases of domestic violence against his ex-wives. What’s worse? All signs indicate that multiple people within the White House knew about the allegations for months. The FBI knew. Did the secret service not know a man with a history of violence was hanging out with POTUS in the Oval? The FBI had been provided the images of a woman with a black eye and that didn’t throw up red flags to anyone charged with making sure those in the WH are secure?

Everyone involved should be absolutely ashamed of what they have done. In this case to defend Porter’s character in spite of the evidence is appalling. Are we really going to start using the “but he’s a good guy at work” defense for otherwise indefensible people?

Imagine being a victim of this man and having some of the most high-powered individuals in the nation defend him. Here’s the thing folks: You can’t be a “good man” and domestic violence perpetrator.

I respect John Kelly, Trump’s chief of staff, tremendously. Not just for his record in the Trump White House, though it should be said he’s done a great service to our country stabilizing the crazy train that was the White House prior to his arrival, but more importantly I respect him for his military service. So what in the world was he thinking this week when he allowed staff (one of which is romantically involved with Rob Porter) to draft and put out his first statement defending the man in light of horrific accusations? Whoever said that was a good idea committed public relations malpractice and shouldn’t be in the West Wing anymore.

It’s despicable. At this point what should he do? Well he sure as heck should do more than walk it back with vague sentiments about domestic violence. He should apologize for speaking too soon and not taking the time to get the facts. He should hold those who kept this information from him responsible. He should see to it that Porter is walked from the building and never let back in.

He should admit, ‘I spoke before I had all the facts and I regret having done it. I’m going to see to it that everyone involved in covering up and gossiping about this sad situation is disciplined’

It’s absolutely unacceptable for those in the sacred halls of the White House to demean the offices they occupy in this way.

Under no circumstances should anyone have attempted to defend a man who’s exes have gone on the record with evidence, statements, police reports, and blogs on their personal websites documenting years of physical and emotional abuse. According to those same ex-wives Porter’s most recent live in girlfriend was also the victim of abuse.

The fact is there’s no way in which some individuals did not know what Rob was being accused of, and yet they left him in a power position — without the security clearance of course, because he couldn’t get one — and allowed him to carry on.

Working at the White House is an accomplishment that comes with a sense of honor in itself. Throughout Trump’s term I’ve heard people opposed to him, usually based on his personality, ask how and why principled conservatives could work in a Trump White House. That’s never a question I’ve had. I know good men and women who go to work for this administration each and every day and do so because they believe in the power of those with principles showing up and fighting for true conservative values in the West Wing, in agencies, in the EEOB.

It makes complete sense: it’s an honor to our country to serve our president, regardless of who that president is or what their politics are. It was an honor of individuals to serve former Presidents Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, just as it’s an honor for people to have served under George Bush, and now under Trump. If you’re a West Wing watcher think, Ainsley Hayes. The office deserves respect. Those in positions of power and influence need to be true believers who want the best for our nation.

You aren’t just serving the president; you’re serving the country when you work in the White House. Working in the West Wing is a dream job.

The fact that this man had his character defended based solely on his actions at work, despite his actions at home, makes me ill.

The White House has to do better. No excuses. No exceptions. There are plenty of people who want to serve our nation in the West Wing who can do a great job and not diminish the office with their personal behavior. If anyone up there needs a few names I’ve got some.