White House reportedly ignored allegations of aide's domestic abuse

White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter handed President Trump a confirmation order for James Mattis as defense secretary in the Oval Office on Jan. 20 2017

Porter denied the allegations but resigned on Wednesday. That effort continues even after his resignation.

Rob Porter had served as staff secretary to President Trump, and had been one of his closest West Wing aides.

He is the gatekeeper to the Oval Office, determining which articles and policy proposals fall into President Donald Trump's hands and pre-screening the briefing materials that his visitors share with him. He was upset when shown reports of the abuse, which first emerged on Tuesday. Sanders declined to comment about whether Porter had a security clearance on Wednesday. Before joining the administration, Porter, a Harvard Law School graduate, spent almost three years as chief of staff to longtime Utah Republican Sen.

"My staff loved him and he was a trusted advisor", Senator Hatch said in a statement.

Instead, Kelly and others oversaw an elevation in Porter's standing. He was one of the key authors of the president's State of the Union speech last week.

"Background checks involve a complex investigation run by intelligence and law enforcement agencies", Mrs Sanders told reporters.

"There is no place for domestic violence in our society".

She wrote about her experiences in a blog post entitled Why I Stayed.

Porter's first wife, Colbie Holderness, told the Daily Mail that he punched her on a trip to Florence in the early 2000s.

Despite his resignation, Porter hit back at the accusations.

"These outrageous allegations are simply false", Porter said in his statement. "I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign", Porter said in a statement.

The allegations were first reported earlier this week by the Daily Mail.

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The statement from Hatch vigorously defended Porter, saying "it's incredibly discouraging to see such a vile attack on such a decent man".

According to the newspaper, Mr Porter has recently been romantically linked with White House communications director Hope Hicks.

She also said Porter had choked her.

"He is a friend, a confidant, and a trusted professional", Kelly said.

"The president and chief of staff have full confidence in his abilities and his performance", Sanders said.

Holderness said though Porter did take them, she stands by her account. But by the next day, it was evident the show of support wouldn't quiet the controversy.

A Belmont native, Harvard graduate, Rhodes scholar, and former Senate aide, Porter, 40, was widely considered a rising star by his colleagues and was an ally of John F. Kelly, the chief of staff, and a steady force in a West Wing populated by aides vying for face time with - and influence over - the president. But Porter resigned anyway, over Kelly's objections.

On Wednesday night, NBC's Frank Thorp spoke to Hatch again, who said he would prefer for Porter not to resign, but instead to just "work his way through and do what's right".

The White House hasn't provided a response to questions about the matter.

Rob Porter was a squeaky-clean aide who made sure that papers landing on the president's desk were in order.

Thorp also asked Hatch whether he would employ Porter if the allegations are true, and Hatch refused to answer.

Porter added that he was grateful for the opportunity to serve in the Trump administration.

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