Conway: ‘I have no reason not to believe these women’
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway says she has “no reason not to believe” the women who accused White House aide Rob Porter of domestic abuse.
“In this case, you have contemporaneous police reports, you have women speaking to the FBI under threat of perjury … you have photographs, and when you look at all of that pulled together, Rob Porter did the right thing by resigning,” Conway said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“I have no reason not to believe the women,” Conway added.
Conway’s comments stand in stark contrast to remarks from President Donald Trump, who tweeted Saturday: “Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. … There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?”
Trump also told reporters on Friday that Porter’s departure was “very sad” and that “he did a very good job while he was in the White House,” but he did not express sympathy for the women Porter allegedly abused, instead focusing on Porter’s claim of innocence.
The allegations of domestic abuse against Porter first came to light last Tuesday. Two of Porter’s ex-wives say they suffered years of abuse, including physical altercations. Porter said he would be resigning from his role at the White House shortly after and has called the allegations “outrageous” and “simply false.”
Porter’s ex-wives detailed the allegations to the FBI over the course of a routine background check, they told CNN. By early fall of 2017, it was widely known among Trump’s top aides — including chief of staff John Kelly — that Porter was facing troubles in obtaining his security clearance and that his ex-wives claimed he had abused them. No action was taken to remove him from the staff, and instead, Kelly and others oversaw an elevation in Porter’s standing.
Last Friday, Kelly made it clear that he would resign if the President wanted him to, a source with knowledge of the matter told CNN.
However, Conway told CNN anchor Jake Tapper that Kelly’s job is not in jeopardy.
“I spoke to the president last night, and I told him I would be with you today. He said, ‘Tell Jake I have full faith in Chief of Staff John Kelly and that I am not actively searching for replacements,'” Conway said. “He said, ‘I saw that all over the news today — I have faith in him,’ and he does.”
She later said of the President: “He says Gen. Kelly is doing a great job and that he has full faith in him, and I think he looks at the full measure of all of us.”