This has been such a mess. Friday Allahpundit noted that President Trump was reportedly expressing doubts about the abuse allegations made by Rob Porter’s ex-wives. That seemed to fit with what Trump said publicly, i.e. “He said very strongly yesterday that he’s innocent.” Today, Jennifer Willoughby, one of Porter’s ex-wives, took exception to Trump’s statement, saying the president had called her a liar. From Time Magazine:
On Friday, a friend and I watched as the President of the United States sat in the Oval Office and praised the work of my ex-husband, Rob Porter, and wished him future success. I can’t say I was surprised. But when Donald Trump repeated twice that Rob declared his innocence, I was floored. What was his intent in emphasizing that point? My friend turned to me and said, “The President of the United States just called you a liar.”
Yes. And so he did.
Willoughby doesn’t blame Trump’s response on politics. She says the discomfort with believing victims of abuse goes deeper than right or left. She writes, “Ultimately, this is not a political issue.” She continues, “This is a societal issue, and the tone has just been reset by the White House. If the most powerful people in the nation do not believe my story of abuse in the face of overwhelming evidence, then what hope do others have of being heard?”
But hours after Time published that response, Axios published a story claiming Trump actually believes the stories of abuse told by Porter’s ex-wives:
Behind closed doors: The president has told multiple people that he believes the accusations about Porter, and finds him “sick.”
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