Yes, the plural is intentional.
President Trump has a history of supporting wife beaters. This is not just about the Rob Porter incident, it’s about a pattern that goes back a long time. Rob Porter is just another part of that pattern, but we will start with him first.
Joined the Trump Administration right at the start as Trump’s Secretary of Staff. He needed a security clearance. His permanent security clearance was never issued because two former wives and a former girlfriend accused him of physical abuse. His second former wife sought and received a restraining order against him in 2010. That restraining order concluded that “reasonable grounds exist to believe that [Porter] has committed family abuse and there is probable danger of a further such offense.” The FBI found the allegations credible and told the Trump Administration so.
The Trump Administration responded by avoiding public release of the allegations, allowing Porter access to classified materials under interim security clearances, and promoting him. When the allegations finally became public, they initially rushed to his defense. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, put his reputation on the line, with an official statement describing Porter in glowing terms:
“Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor and I can’t say enough good things about him. He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him.”
They also release a statement from Orin Hatch, who Porter worked for prior to joining Team Trump, firmly labeling the accusers as “vile.”
“It’s incredibly discouraging to see such a vile attack on such a decent man.”
Then this picture came out putting a bruised face on the abuse.
Porter quickly resigned and the White House, with the exception of Trump, went into full backpedaling mode. Kelly said he was “shocked” by the new allegations (though they were not really new allegations, just new evidence of old allegations). Hatch released a statement:
“I do not know the details of Rob’s personal life. Domestic violence in any form is abhorrent.”
Dear Senator Hatch, if you never knew the details of his personal life how could you say just a day before that his personal life accusers were “vile”? You claim to know he was innocent before, now you feign ignorance?
There was one exception to the backpedaling. President Donald Trump doubled down in support for this wife beater. Trump empathized with Porter saying “it’s obviously a very tough time for him” without so much of a mention on how tough this was on his victims. Other comments included “We certainly wish him well . . . He did a very good job while he was in the White House . . . We hope that he will have a wonderful career.” Trump seemed to accept that Porter is innocent because he says he is innocent.
Again, three accusers dismissed, even with photographic evidence, because the accused says he’s innocent. More on that later. Let’s move on.
Mike Tyson could be the poster child for vile wife beaters. This heavy-weight boxing champion actually bragged in his biography that the “best punch I’ve ever thrown in my entire life” was against his wife Robin Givens. He even boasted how “she flew backwards, hitting every wall in the apartment.” So there’s no doubt about guilt on this one. He also bragged about how “I like to hurt women when I make love to them.”
Tyson would go on to up his game from wife beating to rape. Tyson lured Miss Black Rhode Island, Desiree Washington, into his hotel room and violently raped her. Again, there’s not much question of innocence here. Tyson was convicted for the rape, sentenced for six years, and served three. Tyson remains a registered sex offender to this day.
Throughout all that Trump sided with Tyson. Even when Tyson was convicted for the rape Trump described the verdict as a “travesty” claiming that Tyson was “railroaded.”
You would think that Trump would at least back away from Tyson once becoming a Presidential candidate. Absolutely not. Instead Trump boasted at a rally:
“Mike Tyson endorsed me. I love it! . . . Mike. Iron Mike. You know, all the tough guys endorse me. I like that . . . Because you know what? We need toughness.”
Seriously, you should just watch that one for yourself. Keep in mind that this “tough guy,” whose kind of “toughness” this nation needs to emulate, is a convicted rapist and braggadocious wife beater. This is stomach lurching stuff.
Then there are these tweets:
Trump’s former Campaign Chair and Presidential Advisor was charged with spousal abuse and witness intimidation after assaulting his wife. The attack, which included choking, left visible marks on her neck that were noted by the police. The charges were later dropped after she fled town under threats from Bannon as to what he would do to her if she testified against him.
He went on to have one of the most trusted positions in Trump’s White House.
While not precisely wife beating Trump has a long record of siding with men against women accusers. The most notorious case may have been United States Senate Candidate Roy Moore of Alabama. Moore was credibly accused by numerous women of child molestation, attempted rape, and just flat out creepy hitting on them when they were young. His denials were full of contradictions and corroborating evidence included his signature in a High School yearbook (that he absurdly denied was his) and police officers testifying that their duties included keeping him away from cheerleaders at High School football games and kicking him out of local malls.
None of that bothered Trump. He actively campaigned for Moore even with all the allegations out. He held a big rally for Moore, did robocall recordings for him, and posted tweet after tweet endorsing Moore and calling on everyone to vote for him. This was typical.
The sad thing is it helped. Roy Moore nearly won and received overwhelming support from Republicans.
Trump has also supported many others accused of sexual harassment and/or assault, even after they were disciplined by the organizations they worked for. This included Fox TV executive Roger Ailes (describing him as a “great guy” after the allegations surfaced) and Fox TV commentator Bill O’Reilly. Again conservatives. When the allegations were against Hollywood liberal mogul Harvey Weinstein, Trump was quick to crow about it and afforded Weinstein no benefit of the doubt.
Even as I wrote this article Trump tweeted on the subject.
Once again we see no concern for the victims of abuse, only the poor accused. But let’s talk about that due process thing that is Trump’s central point.
As the Mike Tyson example illustrates due process is not Trump’s concern. Tyson got all the due process in the world for his rape case, it went to the Indiana Court of Appeals (where he lost). Tyson admitted in writing his brutal battery of his wife. Trump sided with Tyson, extolling his “tough guy” virtues in a way that should offend women regardless of party.
The Harvey Weinstein example is also compelling. As a leader of the liberal Hollywood elite, Trump regarded him as instantly guilty. No due process concerns there at all. Weinstein’s career was deservedly ruined, but so far he has not even been officially charged with crime.
What should you expect from a man once accused by his former wife of raping her and who bragged on tape about sexually assaulting women?