It’s been a rough week for White House staffers.
Just two days after domestic abuse allegations ignited the departure of former staff secretary Rob Porter, a White House speechwriter resigned on Friday because of similar charges.
According to the Washington Post:
A White House speechwriter resigned Friday after his former wife claimed that he was violent and emotionally abusive during their turbulent two-and-a-half-year marriage — allegations that he vehemently denied, saying she was the one who victimized him.
The abrupt departure of David Sorensen, a speechwriter who worked under senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, came as The Washington Post was reporting on a story about abuse claims by his ex-wife, Jessica Corbett. Corbett told The Post that she described his behavior to the FBI last fall as the bureau was conducting a background check of Sorensen.
White House officials said they learned of the accusations by Sorensen’s wife Thursday night, before The Post contacted the White House for comment.
“We immediately confronted the staffer, he denied the allegations and he resigned today,” spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement Friday evening.
In a text message to The Post, Sorensen said he stepped down because he “didn’t want the White House to have to deal with this distraction.”
The allegations reportedly include Sorensen driving over his ex-wife’s foot, putting out a cigarette on her hand, pulling her hair, and throwing her into a wall.
WH speech writer David Sorensen's ex-wife said he drove over her foot with a car, put out a cigarette on her hand, threw her into a wall and grasped her menacingly by her hair… By @eliseviebeck https://t.co/MGedUKwWlG
— Rosalind Helderman (@PostRoz) February 10, 2018
“I have never committed violence of any kind against any woman in my entire life,” Sorensen said in a statement.
“In fact, I was the victim of repeated physical violence during our marriage, not her.”
In the case of Porter, whose allegations come from two ex-wives who not only claim he abused them but have physical evidence to back it up, even White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah conceded that the White House “could have done better” in its initial response.
Porter’s first wife, Colbie Holderness, released a picture of her eye in 2005 after Porter allegedly punched her.
Senior White House aide Rob Porter physically assaulted two ex-wives, they tell @theintercept. Full story to come in the morning.
His first wife, Colbie Holderness, provided these photos from a vacation they took together in Florence, Italy: pic.twitter.com/tl3TbyGA8Y
— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) February 7, 2018
Porter didn’t fare much better with his second wife, Jennie Willoughby, who reportedly filed a protective order against him five years later.
The White House hesitated with Porter at first, but was quick to be rid of Sorensen, although he has denied the allegations against him and is “considering legal options to address her defamation.”
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