Staff Secretary Rob Porter has resigned after two former wives boldly spoke out about domestic abuse.
I won’t go into the issues of the person in the highest office in the land, I’ll just stick to the issues regarding Porter. Here’s what we know:
- Sr Aides knew about the abuse for months.
- The WH Chief of Staff (Kelly) knew and praised Porter’s character.
- Even after the allegations surfaced publicly, sources told CNN that Kelly did not urge Porter to resign or seek to force him out. Instead, the White House released a statement from Kelly praising Porter’s character (again.)
- It wasn’t until the uproar over the allegations grew and more details surfaced that Porter resigned and Kelly put out a second statement expressing concern about the allegations.
- The “more details” included this photo:
- CNN puts it well: “Let’s review the facts here. Porter’s ex-wives told the FBI in January 2017 that he had abused them verbally and physically. Thirteen months later, Porter still had no permanent security clearance due to the questions regarding these incidents. That, coupled with the fact that Kelly had come to learn at least some of the allegations against Porter last fall, make Kelly’s urging Porter to stay on the job all the more appalling.”
In the midst of the #metoo movement, where does this leave us? Let’s talk about this quote from deputy press secretary Raj Shah:
“But you know this was a Rob Porter that I and many others have dealt with, that Sarah (Sanders) had dealt with, that other officials, including the chief of staff, had dealt with. And the emerging reports were not reflective of the individual who we had come to know.”
The emerging reports were not reflective of the individual who we had come to know.
- These reports had been “emerging” for months.
- What do domestic abusers really “look like?” Do you imagine they come to work and slap around their co-workers?
Let’s unpack a bit about the known qualities of domestic abusers according to Psychology Today: Men that are abuse are very clever, smart, and extremely charming. Most of these men have a personality that draws people in because of their level of charm this is part of their art to deceive and manipulate. This is why often times when a victim does report an assault she is not easily believed because people usually say “not him, he is so nice’ “you are so lucky”, All of this plays into his because if he gets people outside of the home to buy into his deceit the victim has little if no support. Most batterers are seen as “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” because of the stark contrast in their public and private selves.
So clearly 45 can avoid issues of abuse, mistreatment of women, etc. He’s dodged everything thus far, but those in his office are not immune. I continue to be shocked (and sad that I am shocked) at the lack of support that women who are disclosing abuse are getting in the public eye. It takes a lot of courage to come out and say “this person abused me” ESPECIALLY when the person is in the crosshairs of the media.
When will the default be to BELIEVE WOMEN?