Porter said photos from 2005 of his first wife, Colbie Holderness, with an apparent black eye had a "reality behind them [that] is nowhere close to what is being described". Porter's ex-wives said they were truthful in interviews with the Federal Bureau of Investigation when Porter was being vetted for White House security clearance a year ago. White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told reporters Thursday that Kelly became "fully aware" on Wednesday of the allegations that Porter abused both of his ex-wives.
However, by Wednesday afternoon, the Intercept had published a new interview with one of Porter's ex-wives, along with photos of her bruised face, and the outlet reported that Porter's ex-wives told the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his past abuse.
Ms Willoughby, a motivational speaker, told the DailyMail.com she was married to Mr Porter from 2009-13.
ABC News does not yet have comment from Porter's ex-wives, one of whom sought and received a restraining order against him in 2010, according to documents reviewed by ABC News.More news: Southwest plane slides to edge of taxiway in Baltimore airport, FAA investigating
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She was reportedly involved in drafting the initial White House statement on Mr Porter on Tuesday.
In 2005, one of his ex-wives said Porter punched her in the face. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who made public statements alternately condemning the "vile attack on such a decent man", and later saying he was "heartbroken" by the allegations and denouncing domestic violence as "abhorrent". Rob Porter has been effective in his role as Staff Secretary. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, slammed Republicans for stonewalling his efforts to obtain information about the security clearance process at the White House.
Conway then said there was a "busy news day here at the White House", but went on to speak about funding the military.
He said that the president was "surprised, disheartened and saddened" and that "like many of us, he did not see that in Rob Porter".
The Daily Mail has recently delved into Porter's personal life, reporting last week-complete with paparazzi-style photos-that he was in a romantic relationship with another of Trump's most senior aides, White House communications director Hope Hicks.
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner listens as President Donald Trump answers questions at a news conference, in Bedminster, N.J., August 2017. He nearly always accompanies the president when he travels, and frequently can be seen near Trump as he boards Marine One and Air Force One.