Tag Archives: spousal abuse

Gowdy poses relevant question to White House

Trey Gowdy is a South Carolina Republican U.S. House member who’s planning to leave Congress at the end of the year.

He’s not done asking relevant questions. Gowdy has one for the White House.

How did Rob Porter, the former White House staff secretary who quit after allegations of spousal abuse surfaced, operate without the proper security clearance for as long as he did?

Gowdy has posed the question to White House chief of staff John Kelly, who’s supposed to keep track of such things. Porter worked with an “interim” clearance, even though he had been accused by two former wives of beating them up.

I’ve always thought that such a rap would disqualify someone from gaining access to the kind of documents that Porter was allowed to handle. Rep. Gowdy wants to know how this happened in a White House that is supposed to run — in the words of the president — like a “fine-tuned machine.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray also has testified that the FBI knew long ago about Porter’s alleged domestic trouble, which has shot holes in Kelly’s assertion that the White House was blindsided by the allegations.

I believe Gen. Kelly has some explaining to do.

Trump’s ‘machine’ keep misfiring

I keep circling back to a description that Donald John Trump hung on his presidential administration.

He has called it a “fine-tuned machine.” He meant, I presume, to suggest that the administration was firing on all cylinders, that is purring like a kitten, that it is well-lubed/oiled. Pick whatever metaphor you think the president intended.

Now we have yet another example of that machine grinding its gears. It has flown off the rails. It’s in the ditch … yet again.

The White House has stumbled back into crisis management mode. Chief of staff John Kelly is under intense examination for the way he handled — or mishandled — the circumstances surrounding former staff secretary Rob Porter and the allegations that he beat up his two ex-wives and a former girlfriend.

Porter has quit. A speechwriter has quit because of allegations that he abused his former wife.

The question at hand is what Kelly knew and when he knew it. He denies knowing long ago that Porter had been suspected of spousal abuse. There has been credible reporting that Kelly did know months ago, long before it all blew up this past week.

The president reportedly is angry over what Kelly knew and what he didn’t divulge to the boss — that would be Trump — about the questions regarding Porter’s conduct.

Media have reported that Kelly offered to resign. Kelly denies making that offer. White House officials are now struggling to clear up the “message” coming from the West Wing.

Chaos has revealed itself again at the White House.

We are not witnessing a “fine-tuned machine” at work. What we are watching is a jalopy in need of yet another major overhaul.

You want due process, Mr. POTUS? Let’s try this

Kirsten Gillibrand has come up with an interesting idea that, sadly, won’t get out of the starting blocks.

The New York U.S. senator, a Democrat, has proposed holding hearings on the sexual abuse allegations that have been leveled against Donald John Trump. You see, Gillibrand wants to call the president out on his call for “due process” relating to allegations of spousal abuse by a former key White House aide.

According to The Hill: “If he wants due process for the over dozen sexual assault allegations against him, let’s have Congressional hearings tomorrow,” she continued. “I would support that and my colleagues should too.”

Rob Porter has quit as White staff secretary. Two former wives and a former girlfriend have accused him of spousal abuse. One of the wives produced a picture of herself with a shiner under right eye; she says Porter punched her in the face.

Trump has come to Porter’s defense. He called him a fine man and said he “did a good job” as staff secretary. The president made no mention of the alleged victims of his attacks.

And he’s called for “due process” to determine Porter’s guilt or innocence.

Sen. Gillibrand wants to give Trump himself all the due process he needs regarding the many accusations that have been tossed at him by women who have alleged a number of sexual abuse transgressions.

Will Congress ever convene hearings? Please. Don’t make me laugh.

Gillibrand, though, has handed us a good idea to at least consider.

‘Some are true, some are false’

Donald Trump is trying to invoke some damage control in the wake of the latest tumult that is roiling the White House.

The president who once many years ago accused the Central Park Five — group of young African-American men — of raping a woman after they were exonerated is now concerned about “due process.”

He said former White House staff secretary Rob Porter is entitled to “due process” in the wake of allegations by two former wives and an ex-girlfriend that he beat them up.

Then he tweeted this, in part: “Some are true and some are false,” he said, referring to the types of allegations that have been leveled.

Whoa! Hold on there, hoss!

If “some are true,” then what bleeping differences does it make if any others are false? It takes just one “true” accusation, in my mind, to be a deal breaker. It only takes one instance of such spousal assault to disqualify anyone from the kind of position that Porter acquired in the Trump White House.

Here’s the entirety of what the president tweeted this morning. You decide:

Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?

Now he is concerned about due process.

That is, um, rich.

It’s time for Gen. Kelly to go

I’m wrong more than I am right. John Kelly moved from one key Trump administration post to another one amid high hopes that he would whip his new office into shape.

I was among those who had longed for a transformation and thought Kelly would be able to deliver it. I was mistaken.

Kelly needs to leave the White House chief of staff job. I hope he can resign under his own power, so to speak, and be done with it.

The White House mess has deepened in recent days with accusations that former staff secretary Rob Porter assaulted his two former wives and a former girlfriend. Kelly has made an utter hash of the White House response.

The key question now is whether Kelly knew about the allegations long before he said he did and kept it from the president of the United States. It appears that’s the case.

Kelly once ran the Homeland Security Department. He moved to the chief of staff post after Reince Priebus had lost control of the White House operation. Kelly, a decorated Marine Corps general, was seen as a supreme control freak and someone who could bring discipline and order to the West Wing. Sadly, that effort appears to have failed.

I am in no position, of course, to recommend anyone to the chief’s job. It’s painfully clear to me that Gen. Kelly has squandered his opportunity to right a listing operation.

He cannot disparage those who accuse a key aide of serious misconduct. He cannot be an apologist for a president who continues to exhibit a horrifying blind spot when it allegations from women surface about the conduct of men. My hope was that his Marine training and his understanding of the meaning of public service would have served him better in this critical job.

Gen. Kelly must go. Immediately.

‘Innocent’ men keep quitting their day jobs

I know in my head — and, yes, my heart — that usually we’re allowed the presumption of innocence when we stand accused of wrongdoing.

But why do all these “innocent” men keep quitting their day jobs when women accuse them of beating them up, sexually abusing them, sexually harassing them?

If they don’t quit, then why do their employers keep firing them?

Roger Ailes got canned as president of Fox News; Bill O’Reilly was shown the door, too, by the same network. They both denied ever doing what the women accused them of doing, even though they and their networks paid out millions of bucks to female accusers. Go figure.

Matt Lauer got canned by NBC after women accused him of improper sexual behavior. Lauer hasn’t yet acknowledged publicly doing anything wrong.

Most recently, we have watched the departure of Rob Porter as White House staff secretary after his two ex-wives and a former girlfriend accused him of beating them. Porter says the allegations are false, but he quit anyway. The president stands by his man, calling him a good guy who did “a good job” while working in the White House.

Al Franken quit the U.S. Senate after he was accused of misbehavior with a female TV journalist; Franken, though, said the allegations weren’t entirely accurate. Huh?

Holy mackerel, man! The list of these clowns quitting while not acknowledging any wrongdoing just baffles me.

The innocence presumption, as I understand it, is reserved for those accused of criminal activity. None of these individuals I’ve mentioned has faced a criminal accusation. They face political accusations, which is a different matter altogether.

Still, I cannot remember when I’ve seen so many “innocent” men pull the plugs on their careers.

Strange, yes? You bet it is!

About that ‘extreme vetting’ idea

I feel the need to revisit briefly an issue I raised in an earlier blog post relating to the latest tumult to erupt at the White House.

It involves former staff secretary Rob Porter, who resigned after two former wives and a former girlfriend had accused him of beating them up.

Why in the name of extreme vetting didn’t the White House personnel office detect this behavior prior to hiring this guy?

Donald John Trump has declared his intention to institute an “extreme vetting” regimen for immigrants seeking entry into the United States. I don’t have a particular problem with that.

I do, though, have a serious problem with the White House giving someone such as Porter access to highly sensitive documents when he doesn’t have a top-secret security clearance. Why does he lack such a clearance? Because the FBI was examining the issues relating to the accusation of domestic violence.

And yet … this guy got hired by the White House. Donald Trump let him in the door and allowed Porter immediate access to documents that demanded a top-secret clearance.

Why didn’t the president, the White House chief of staff and other top-drawer West Wing officials invoke the extreme vetting policy it is demanding of immigrants?

This matter well might cost White House chief of staff John Kelly his job. It is being reported that he knew months ago about the allegations of serial spousal abuse, but did nothing about it. The former wives have presented detailed accounts of what Porter allegedly did to them.

One of Porter’s former wives has issued a stern warning to White House communications director Hope Hicks, who is dating Porter: Be careful, Ms. Hicks; your beau is going to beat you up.

Extreme vetting? It’s missing at the White House personnel office.

Astonishing.

Trump shows his dark side yet again

Donald Trump has declared that his former staff secretary has denied the accusations of two former wives and a former girlfriend that he beat them up.

The president stood behind a U.S. Senate candidate who was accused of sexual abuse by women, one of whom claimed the man abused her when she was a 14-year-old girl.

The president also has called the 16 or so women who have accused him of sexual abuse liars.

Is there a pattern here? If you’ve missed it, I’ll offer this: Women have accused men of sexual abuse and spousal battery but the president stands foursquare behind the men. What’s more, he has called the women liars.

Rob Porter’s resignation as staff secretary comes after one of his former wives provided a photograph showing here with a shiner under her right eye; she says Porter did that to her.

The many women who have accused former GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore have provided detailed allegations of what Moore supposedly did to them.

And the women who have accused Trump himself of sexual misbehavior? They tell the same story. Furthermore, Trump has actually boasted about how he has grabbed women by their genital area.

What in the name of all that is holy is it going to take for the president’s devoted Republican “base” to recognize who has been elected to the highest, most exalted office in the land?

Trump’s statement of good wishes for Rob Porter — with no mention of (a) the women who have accused him of battery or (b) the sin of spousal/domestic abuse — reveal an astonishing lack of compassion in the man entrusted to stand as the nation’s moral authority.

The president either doesn’t get it, or he gets it, but chooses to ignore it.

What about the ex-wives, Mr. President?

Donald J. Trump took time today to wish his former staff secretary all the best and made sure to say he has denied allegations that he beat up his two former wives.

The president was referring to Rob Porter, who quit this week after allegations surfaced of serial spousal abuse by the guy who was supposed to have a top-secret security clearance because of the sensitive nature of his West Wing job.

He wished Porter “well” and said he hopes he has a “great career ahead of him.”

But … the president neglected to mention either of the former wives or a former Porter girlfriend, who’s also made a serious allegation against the former close White House aide.

No mention of their pain. No mention of the seriousness of the allegations they have leveled. No mention of how he won’t tolerate any form of spousal abuse in his administration.

Yes. It’s, um, sad.