Former White House staff secretary Rob Porter told reporters his ex-wife, Colbie Holderness, got a black eye after she fell during a quarrel the two had.
Porter disclosed that information during an off-the-record briefing with only four reporters from The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Axios. During that briefing, he also admitted to calling his second ex-wife, Jennifer Willoughby, a “f**king b***h,” Politico reported.
The briefing appeared to confirm an earlier report on Porter telling senior administration staff that Holderness got her black eye, revealed in photographs released last week, while the two argued and fought over a Venetian glass vase.
In a statement last week, Porter said he would resign and said he was the one who snapped the photos of Holderness but didn't cause the black eye.
Holderness told the Daily Mail, however, that he punched her in the face.
“We were arguing, and he punched me in the face,” she said. “He left visible marks when he punched me, and I have pictures of that.”
White House chief of staff John Kelly caught criticism when he defended Porter as a “man of true integrity.”
On Twitter, President Donald Trump didn't mention Porter by name, but he complained about lives being destroyed by a “mere allegation”:
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?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2018
The White House later said that Trump took domestic violence allegations “very seriously” but thought everyone accused deserved “due process.”
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to say whether Trump believed Porter's accusers.