On Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump was asked about the resignation of White House staff secretary Rob Porter amid allegations of domestic abuse.
“He says he’s innocent and I think you have to remember that,” said Trump. “He said very strongly yesterday that he’s innocent, but you’ll have to talk to him about that.”
Of course, what Porter denies is something both of his ex-wives as well as a third woman who dated him allege: That he physically and mentally abused them. But a published picture of Porter’s ex-wife sporting a black eye brought a quick resignation.
And yet, Trump sides with Porter – with nary a mention of the women. Which, you’ll remember, is the exact same thing he did when Senate nominee Roy Moore of Alabama faced accusations from a number of women that he had pursued physical relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
“He totally denies it,” Trump said of Moore at the time. “He says it didn’t happen.”
Trump’s view on allegations made against his friends and allies is born of necessity.
Remember that in the course of the 2016 campaign, Trump faced accusations from more than a dozen women that he has sexually abused or acted inappropriately with them. He denied all of the allegations and insisted the women were lying because they didn’t like his politics.
If Trump is willing to acknowledge that Porter indeed abused his two ex-wives as well a former girlfriend, then Pandora’s box is opened on him.
If Porter’s accusers are to be believed, then why aren’t Trump’s accusers? You get the idea.
The Point: This is a President who came into office under extraordinary circumstances and with a background unlike anyone before him. That background makes it very, very hard for Trump to lead the country from a moral perspective – even if he wanted to. Which he doesn’t.
Read Friday’s full edition of The Point.