Students, faculty react to White House domestic violence allegations

Maddie Davis, Asst. News Editor

Many Americans have been shocked and disturbed with the recent domestic abuse allegations against White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter. The students and faculty of Wilkes University have since reacted to these allegations.

On Feb. 6,  The Daily Mail broke the story about the abuse allegations from the account of Jennifer Willoughby, Porter’s second wife. The story uncovered a dark account of one of the Oval Office’s most important players: that he was allegedly an emotionally and physically abusive partner who had unpredictable behavior. As White House Staff Secretary, Porter handled confidential files and had direct contact with the president He was up for a promotion before resigning because of the allegations.

Colbie Holderness, Porter’s first wife, came out in The Washington Post with her own piece about her alleged abusive marriage with the former staff secretary, including pictures of the aftermath of a bruised and swollen eye she said he gave her. Holderness discussed her experience, saying she lived in constant fear of him. She went on to question Kellyanne Conway’s description of how she wasn’t worried for Porter’s now girlfriend, and White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, because she was “strong,”  as a guest on Jake Tapper’s “State of the Union” on CNN.

In March and April of 2017, the FBI conducted interviews with Porter’s ex-wives where they gave their accounts of his abusive side. In July 2017, the FBI concluded their investigation of Porter, and turned it over to the White House. They could then use their judgement of whether to give him full security clearance or not, as Porter has been granted the same interim clearance even a year into Trump’s presidency, which raises  the question of whether or not he should be trusted in such a high-profile job.

Slowly throughout the past weeks, the allegations have gained traction, calling to question how the White House wasn’t aware of these reports when giving Porter his security clearance to work in the White House. It was confirmed by multiple sources that the FBI indeed had been notified and in contact with his ex-wives with this on his record, but the White House still allowed him to have this prestigious, sensitive job.

These allegations have called into question White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House Counsel Don McGahn, who had been notified about the FBI’s investigation of Rob Porter. They together ignored the allegations as threatening to the White House, and Kelly even came out commending Porter of how great of a man he was and how he has true integrity; Kelly has since taken back his comment and taken a stance against Porter. President Trump sent out his own cryptic tweet supporting not only Rob Porter, but also shaming any allegation as it destroys people calling for due