Trump: Rob Porter Says 'Very Strongly' That He's Innocent, 'We Wish Him Well'
"We wish him well. He worked very hard," Trump said at the White House. "I found out about it very recently and I was surprised by it. But we certainly wish him well. It's obviously a tough time for him."
He said Porter did a good job, and noted that he has vehemently denied the allegations.
"He says he's innocent, and I think you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday that he's innocent. So you'll have to talk to him about that. But we absolutely wish him well," Trump continued.
Porter's departure and the White House's handling of the allegations have dogged the West Wing this week. Chief of Staff John Kelly has come under scrutiny for initially defending Porter and has faced questions about when he learned of the allegations.
Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah Thursday that Kelly was not fully aware of the allegations until this week when photos of one of Porter's ex-wives with a black eye were released.
On "Outnumbered Overtime," former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said Trump should have also mentioned the alleged domestic violence victims.
"That would have been an appropriate, presidential thing to say," Fleischer said.
As for criticism that the White House did not sufficiently vet Porter, Fleischer said there is no way to get to the bottom of it without knowing the specifics of what Porter's ex-wives told FBI investigators as part of Porter obtaining a security clearance.
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