The White House on Monday attempted to defend Donald Trump’s comments made last week about a former aide accused of domestic violence.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was pressed about Trump’s comments during her press briefing, as reporters asked why he’s made no public reference to the women accusing former staff secretary Rob Porter of domestic violence.
“Why haven’t we heard the president say what you said right there, that he takes domestic violence very seriously?” ABC Correspondent Cecilia Vega asked Sanders.
“I spoke with the president and those are actually his words that he gave me directly today,” Sanders insisted. “It’s my job to speak on behalf of the president. I spoke to him and he gave that message directly to me and I read it directly to you.”
Another reporter noted that Vice President Mike Pence had called the allegations against Porter appalling, yet Trump had not personally spoken out.
“Why not use this as an opportunity to say something like that?” the reporter wondered. “Why does he have to speak through you?”
“The president has been clear multiple times through myself and others in the administration that we condemn domestic violence,” Sanders opined.
When asked why Trump wished Porter success in his future jobs, Sanders said:
“The president of the United States hopes that all Americans can be successful in whatever they do and if they’ve had any issues in the past, not confirming or denying one way or the other, but if they do, the president wants success for all Americans. He was elected to serve all Americans and he hopes for the best for all American citizens across the country.”
On Friday, Trump said he hopes Porter has a “great career ahead of him” and on Saturday, Trump tweeted about how “peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation.”
Both of Porter’s ex-wives have accused him of domestic violence, with one of the women releasing pictures of her injuries after an alleged incident. Porter resigned from the White House on Wednesday but has denied the allegations.
Sarah Sanders is pressed about Trump not publicly condemning Rob Porter's actions… pic.twitter.com/vqlif2cLwV
— Axios (@axios) February 12, 2018