Trump says he was ‘surprised’ by abuse allegations against Rob Porter

WASHINGTON — President Trump said Friday he was surprised by allegations of domestic violence against his staff secretary that forced the top aide to resign this week — but lauded the work Rob Porter did and noted that that he has maintained his innocence.

“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,” Trump said.

Trump’s comments Friday were the first time the president has spoken publicly about the top aide since the allegations surfaced Wednesday in a report in the British tabloid The Daily Mail.

Trump said he was saddened by the allegations. “‘He also, as you probably know, says he’s innocent and I think you have to remember that,” Trump said in an told reporters in the Oval Office in an unscheduled photo-op. “He said very strongly yesterday that he’s innocent so you have to talk to him about that, but we absolutely wish him well, he did a very good job when he was at the White House.”

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