The ugly truth Rob Porter exposed about domestic violence culture in America


Evan Vucci

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, right, watches as White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter, center, hands President Donald Trump a confirmation order for James Mattis as defense secretary, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Another member of the White House Staff has resigned, and this time it is not because he cannot tolerate the working conditions.

Rob Porter resigned from his position as White House Staff Secretary on Feb. 7 after accusations surfaced from two of his former wives that he had physically abused.

The obvious issue is that a man who had a pattern of domestic violence was allowed the clearance required to work in the White House.

However, there is an issue that seems even more pressing and revealing about the domestic violence culture in America.

Those who worked closely with Porter, such as White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and President Trump, initially came to Porter’s defense praising him and his work ethic on social media.

That is until photos of Porter’s first ex-wife, Colbie Holderness, began circulating online. The photos show Holderness’ black eye, which she says was the aftermath of one of Porter’s rages.

Those who had previously defended Porter soon voiced their shock at the allegations, or rather at the proof of the allegations.

“We wish him well, he worked very hard,” Trump said. “We found out about it recently and I was surprised by it, but we certainly wish him well and it’s a tough time for him. He did a very good job when he was in the White House.”

America has a long-standing policy of innocent until proven guilty concerning those who have been accused of a crime. Unfortunately, I believe this has also created the tension that has led to the explosion of the #MeToo movement. So often, the only proof is one person’s word against another’s; in most cases, a man versus a woman or the accused versus the accuser.

Yet, somehow, even when there is proof such as in Colbie Holderness’ case, people still don’t believe that domestic abuse has taken place.

Furthermore, working in the White House requires top security clearance. This security clearance is ironically how Porter’s past was exposed to the public. An institution that should set an example for the rest of America has failed once again. However, some such as Porter’s ex, believe that he still belongs in the White House despite his criminal past.

The explosion of the #MeToo movement means that we now have to decide what the proper punishment for sexual and domestic abuse for those who have fairly been found guilty. While we’re figuring out those guidelines, it’d be a safe bet to keep them out of the White House.