Porter, left, with Trump, before his resignation.
Image: AP

President Trump not only keeps in touch with Rob Porter, but privately expresses hope that his disgraced former aide could someday return to working at the White House, the New York Times reports.

Porter, the former White House staff secretary, left his position in February after an article in The Daily Mail detailed serious abuse allegations from two former partners—including the accusation that Porter gave his ex-wife a black eye while the two were on vacation (Porter would reportedly later tell senior staffers that this was an accident).

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While Trump “has told the advisers he has talked with that he knows he probably cannot bring Mr. Porter back,” he has still “made clear that he misses the staff structure that Mr. Porter had helped build and implement,” the report reads.

That longing has reportedly lead to an increasing number of phone calls between the two men, especially as staffing levels continue to dwindle around the president.

While the report notes it’s unclear just how many conversations the two have had, one source told the Times that the two have discussed trade policy—in particular, exemptions to the tariffs Trump announced last week.

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Porter is not the only White House official who resigned after allegations of domestic abuse went public: David Sorensen, a former West Wing speechwriter, also resigned shortly after learning the Washington Post was working on a story detailing his ex-wife’s allegations of abuse against him.