On Wednesday, top White House aide Rob Porter resigned from his role as staff secretary to President Donald Trump, following multiple reports that he’d emotionally, verbally, and physically abused his two ex-wives.
The allegations, however, did not seem to dampen the inexplicable support Porter has continued to draw from his former boss, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch.
Here, in order, are the three–three!—statements Hatch has made regarding accused wife beater Rob Porter:
Tuesday night, as news of Porter’s alleged spousal abuse was published:
It’s incredibly discouraging to see such a vile attack on such a decent man. Shame on any publication that would print this — and shame on the politically motivated, morally bankrupt character assassins that would attempt to sully a man’s good name. I know Rob. I’ve known him for years, both as a close friend and as a personal advisor. He is kind and considerate towards all. The country needs more honest, principled people like Rob Porter, which is why I hope that this cynical campaign to discredit his character ultimately fails.
Wednesday afternoon, after Porter announced he was resigning from the White House:
I am heartbroken by today’s allegations. In every interaction I’ve had with Rob, he has been courteous, professional, and respectful. My staff loved him and he was a trusted advisor. I do not know the details of Rob’s personal life. Domestic violence in any form is abhorrent and unacceptable. I am praying for Rob and those involved.
Wednesday evening, in a hallway interview with NBC News producer Frank Thorp:
Hatch’s whiplash-inducing willingness to go out on a limb for a former staffer whose White House security clearance was reportedly denied after the FBI learned of his history of domestic violence may be nauseating, but it’s hardly the only instance of a Republican heavy going to bat for Porter, post-allegations.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who worked closely with Porter and likely knew of the allegations for months before they were made public, reportedly urged his embattled colleague to “stay and fight” through the charges. Kelly’s refusal to condemn Porter has confounded other White House employees, one of whom told Vanity Fair: “It’s beyond disbelief. Everyone is trying to figure out why Kelly is leading the charge to save him.”
Even after Porter’s resignation, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made sure to praise him, saying, “I can tell you that Rob has been effective in his role as staff secretary and the president and chief of staff have had full confidence and trust in his abilities and his performance.”