President Donald Trump was en route to Bedminster, N.J., for vacation.
But the president's latest comments suggested that this week's resignations - particularly Porter's - were jolting at the highest levels. Now she's set off a stink bomb in the West Wing by scrambling to protect her significant other, Porter, knowing the trouble it could cause for Trump.
Trump has said nearly nothing previously about the "me too" movement, which has led to a re-examination of power dynamics and expectations for men and women in the workplace.
Trump paid tribute to him, saying: "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". Porter resigned on Wednesday after two former wives said he abused them. "As you probably know, he says he's innocent, and I think you have to remember that".
Apart from disbelief, the White House also has showed ambivalence about allegations of mistreatment of women: Steve Bannon was brought on as Trump's chief strategist despite misdemeanor charges in a 1996 domestic violence case. Strangers complimented him to me every time we went out.
Showing little regard for the #MeToo movement, he has followed a pattern of giving the benefit of the doubt to powerful men and insisting upon his own innocence in the face of allegations of sexual misconduct from more than a dozen women. The White House had called the allegations "very troubling". Speechwriter David Sorensen resigned on Friday after the White House learned of the allegations against him.
Mr Shah added that the White House immediately confronted Mr Sorensen upon learning of the allegations on Thursday night.
The Washington Post first reported the allegations against Sorensen and his resignation. Their divorce became final last fall. "It should be able to focus on President [Donald] Trump's historic achievements for the American people", Sorensen claimed. After Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was arrested and charged with assaulting a female reporter, Trump asked, "How do you know the bruises weren't there before?"
"That dynamic leaves many simply unwilling to consider the possibility that he has engaged in acts of violence, and when people aren't willing to imagine that, the easiest thing to do is disbelieve the woman making these allegations", Martin said.
He made no mention of the ex-wives or the alleged domestic abuse.
Trump has also tapped former Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Carroll to serve as the next drug czar.
Lawyers in the counsel's office believed that the bureau - with its vast investigative powers - was best positioned to look into the accusations, the two people briefed on the matter said, and that it was not their job to investigate conduct that took place long before an official began working in the administration. The women also reportedly said they had told FBI investigators about the abuse during Porter's security clearance. She failed to police Michael Wolff when he was roaming the White House.
In response, Sorensen said he was considering legal action, but said he quit because he "didn't want the White House to have to deal with this distraction". Some aides in that meeting privately questioned Kelly's account, thinking his version of events was self-serving, according to one official with knowledge of the meeting but not authorized to discuss it publicly. Rather, McGahn requested that the FBI complete its investigation and come back to the White House with a final recommendation, a process that could take months.
And many, including the president himself, have turned their ire on Kelly for vouching for Porter's character and falsely asserting that he had moved aggressively to oust him once his misdeeds were discovered.
"White House chief of staff John Kelly must resign", said Van Pelt. "Sorensen provided photos of what he said were injuries his ex-wife inflicted upon him during their fights, including bruises and scrapes", the newspaper also reported.
The White House announced Wednesday that Porter had resigned.
Which, despite the panoply of evidence that seems to contradict Porter's claims, is good enough for Trump.
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