David Sorensen becomes second Trump aide to quit amid abuse claims

BBC | Published: 10:15, Feb 10,2018

David Sorensen

David Sorensen. — Reuters file photo

A speechwriter has become the second White House aide this week to resign amid allegations of domestic abuse.

David Sorensen denies his former wife's allegations he was violent and emotionally abusive.

His departure comes just days after another Trump official, Rob Porter, quit over allegations of abuse from two ex-wives, something he denies.

The scandal has put pressure on chief of staff John Kelly, who has faced questions over what he knew and when.

Kelly and the White House have both denied reports he offered to resign over his handling of the allegations made against ex-staff secretary Rob Porter.

The chief of staff initially called Porter, 40, ‘a man of true integrity and honour’ after allegations of domestic abuse involving two ex-wives surfaced on Tuesday.

It is alleged that Porter gave one ex-wife a black eye while another filed a restraining order. He denies both.

On Friday, Trump paid tribute to Porter, who quit his White House position on Wednesday.

Speaking in the Oval Office on Friday, Trump said: ‘We found out about it recently and I was surprised by it, but we certainly wish him well and it's a tough time for him.

‘We wish him well,’ he said in his first public remarks on the claims. ‘He worked very hard.’

But Trump did not refer to Porter's accusers.

His comments sparked criticism from Democrats, with former vice-president Joe Biden saying Trump had downplayed the allegations against Porter.

‘That's like saying: 'That axe murderer out there, he's a great painter'’, Biden said.

Kelly had some knowledge of the accusations against his deputy.

After initially praising Porter, he later released a new statement saying he was shocked by the claims and stressed domestic violence was unacceptable.

White House communications director Hope Hicks' handling of the controversy has reportedly displeased Trump.

The 29-year-old aide has recently been in a relationship with Porter, a Harvard graduate and former Oxford Rhodes Scholar.

Trump was reportedly not consulted when Hicks helped draft an initial statement defending Porter.

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