Defamation or Damage Control? Trump Praises Rod Porter While Porter Claims Innocence

Rob Porter's ex-wife Colbie Holderness is pictured in a photo from 2005, when she says Porter gave her a black eye on an Italy trip.It is like a broken record in politics. A powerful man is accused of a despicable and criminal act toward women.  He emphatically denies the allegation and then . . . crickets.  President Donald Trump cited Rod Porter’s claim of innocence and praised him and is now facing criticism over his failure to express concern for the women in the scandal.

In the meantime, Porter has not done the obvious thing if his two prior wives are indeed lying about his being a vile abuser of women . . . he has not threatened, let alone promised, a defamation action.

As I discussed with regard to the Roy Moore scandal, it is often telling who sues first in such controversies since clearly someone is not just a liar but a despicable liar. Moore has not filed his promised lawsuits, but he has been sued (Moore is trying to dismiss the lawsuits).

If these women ruined the career of one of the fastest rising stars in Washington, one would expect a notice letter from counsel promising an expedited libel lawsuit.  After all, the denial of Porter seemed quite categorical (as are reports of his assurances given to White House personnel):

“These outrageous allegations are simply false. I took the photos given to the media nearly 15 years ago and the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described. I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign.”

Ok, that is a good start to a denial.  He is claiming that he took the photos and that the allegation is entirely false.  But it leaves more questions like why he took the photos and whether he is denying that he did hit his wife.

Whether he “engages” or not, the media coverage will continue.  After all, he has both former wives (and reportedly a live in girlfriend) giving damaging accounts of his conduct.  Even by Washington standards, running through two spouses before you are out of your 40s is rather notable. Moreover, these very credible accusers are describing a similar pattern of behavior.

Moreover, he now has a president taking heat for him and a current lover, Hope Hicks, who is facing very serious questions of a conflict of interest over her involvement in the early (and later altered) spin on the scandal.  Even his immediate boss, Gen. John Kelly, is facing calls for his resignation over his support for Porter based on his assertions of innocence.  All of these people are now in harm’s way because they believe Porter’s claim that the photo and allegations are entirely false.  Remaining silent is leaving these people to twist in the wind.

If he was defamed, one would expect two notice letters would have been sent by now to the women and at least one to the Daily Mail.  If he is lying, he has left a pile of wreckage that now includes his current relationship, recently ended relationship, and his former bosses ranging from Sen. Orin Hatch to Gen. Jon Kelly to the President of the United States.

The story was first posted by Daily Mail.  Both of Porter’s ex-wives described him as having a violent and angry disposition.  His first wife, Colbie Holderness, said that he punched in her the face during a trip to Florence, Italy, in 2005. She produced the photos now circulating in the media.

What is curious is that the White House counsel and others knew of these allegations in 2017 and they have been linked to Porter’s failure to secured a clearance.  Yet, at no time has Porter indicated that he would take legal action over any false statements.

If the allegations are “outrageous” and “untrue,” then file for defamation.  Otherwise, this denial seems less credible and more tactical in this scandal.

What do you think?

 

244 thoughts on “Defamation or Damage Control? Trump Praises Rod Porter While Porter Claims Innocence

  1. One women claims that she got a protective order. Porter underwent a security investigation by the FBI and if there was anything to this they would know. I presume that if the FBI found something wrong, including the protective order, that they would not have given him a security clearance. The fact that he was granted such a clearance raises doubts about the validity of the claims by the two women.

    • Edit:

      “One women claims that she got a protective order. Porter underwent a security investigation by the FBI and if there was anything to this they would know. I presume that if the FBI found something wrong, including the protective order, that they would not have given him a security clearance. The fact that he was granted such a clearance raises doubts about the validity of the claims by the two women.”

      To clarify the FBI gave Porter an interim clearance rather than permanent, reflecting the allegations by the woman. If there was something more concrete than an allegation I doubt that the FBI rules would have allowed granted an interim clearance.

  2. How did she get that bruise? When did she report it to someone else? What did she say then?
    Lie detector tests are necessary.

  3. I have never thought that anyone should be fired if they believe someone’s protestation of innocence in a he-said-she-said situation, pending further evidence. That would imply that if you do not believe a woman’s claim of abuse, without evidence, then you could lose your entire career. That would seriously undermine our justice system.

    Here we have two women claiming abuse, and a photo of a black eye. One has a protective order. It’s the protective order that goes a long way towards establishing evidence. This certainly warrants an investigation.

    I am curious why the first woman didn’t go to the police and file charges, or get a protective order. It is a continual frustration in Hollywood and politics when women do not go to the police and file charges when the incident is fresh and there is physical evidence.

    It is my understanding that Gen Kelly defended Porter after the first allegation came out, but before the 2nd. If that is the case, then what is the problem? By all accounts Rod Porter excelled at his job, so the man that his coworkers knew was a good one. He said the man he knew was good and that everyone deserves a chance to defend themselves. There have been many cases of severe abuse or even murder where the community has been shocked, because the private face was so different from the public one.

    Of course such severe allegations of abuse should be investigated, and of course judgement should be rendered when we have all the facts. I have little tolerance for men who raise their hands to women. If Rod Porter is guilty, then he is beneath contempt. And if he is guilty, then his dishonesty has put all of his supporters in a tenuous position.

    I am very curious to learn more about his statement that he took the photo and what happened was nowhere near what was stated. Why did he take the photo? What does he claim happened? Have the police been interviewed who dealt with the protective order? Was the latter a temporary one that expired without any court action or investigation?

    I hate lying. Find out the truth, and expose the liar. I am glad that Porter resigned, or was asked to resign. Hopefully, we will learn the truth, and this will not be yet another case that resolves in private with no details divulged.

    • Obviously Mark M. is correct. The Trump administration is a misogynist club. There must be something magnetic about Trump’s appeal to his fellow mysogynists. They just naturally gravitate toward him. OMG. It’s not just a club; it’s a cult.

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