Colbie Holderness Responds to Kellyanne Conway: ‘Being Strong Does Not Inoculate a Person Against Abuse’

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Colbie Holdnerness, an ex-wife of former White House aide

Rob Porter
in a Monday Washington Post piece that she
was “dismayed” by Kellyanne Conway’s weekend appearance on

In an interview with Jake Tapper, Conway said that she wasn’t
worried about Hope Hicks, the White House communications
director who is reportedly dating Porter. “I’ve rarely met
somebody so strong with such excellent instincts and loyalty
and smarts,” Conway
Tapper. Tapper’s question was prompted by the
statements of another of Porter’s ex-wives, Jennifer Willoughby
who, last week
expressed concern
over Hicks’s safety.

In her op-ed, Holderness wrote that Conway’s “statement implies
that those who have been in abusive relationships are not
strong.” “I beg to differ,” Holderness

“Being strong—with excellent instincts and loyalty and
smarts—does not inoculate a person against abuse,” Holderness
wrote, in direct response to Conway’s interview. “It doesn’t
prevent her from entering into a relationship with an abuser.
Abuse often doesn’t manifest itself early on—only later, when
you’re in deep and behind closed doors.”

Holderness expressed appreciation for Conway saying that she
did “not not
believe” Holderness and Willoughby,
but contrasted Conway’s apathetic statement of belief with
Sarah Sanders’s Monday press briefing. During the briefing,
Sanders evaded questions on whether or not the president
believed Holderness and Willoughby and why the White House had
grossly mishandled the Porter response. Sanders instead

a ready-made statement: “The president and the
entire administration take domestic violence very seriously,
and believe all allegations need to be investigated thoroughly.
Above all the president supports victims of domestic violence,
and believes everyone should be treated fairly and with due

Holderness’s op-ed came hours before a Politico
that details the White House’s response to the
intimate partner abuse allegations against Porter initially

by the Daily Mail. Though the White
House, and Chief of Staff John Kelly, have publicly condemned
domestic violence (as though that were difficult), the Politico
report shows a White House desperately scrambling to keep
Porter, even after he was accused of physical and emotional
abuse and
security clearance from the FBI.


In the hours immediately after the Daily Mail published a
photograph of Porter’s first ex-wife with a black eye, White
House press secretary Sarah Sanders hastily arranged an
off-the-record meeting in the West Wing with Porter and four
reporters: the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, the
Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey, Axios’ Jonathan Swan, and the
Wall Street Journal’s Michael Bender. In that meeting, which
hasn’t previously been reported, Porter relayed his version
of events and fielded questions from the group.

These details yet again contradict the White House’s
increasingly hard-to-follow official timeline. Again, on Monday
Sanders told reporters that the White House acted within 24
hours of learning the “extent of the situation” to “accept and
announce” Porter’s resignation.

But it appears that the White House was grasping to contain the
story while retaining Porter, regardless of the allegations
leveled against him by two ex-wives, as well as an
ex-girlfriend who works at the White House. This tracks with

previous reports
which indicated that Kelly and other White
House aides had been made aware of the intimate partner
violence allegations months prior to the Daily Mail’s

Though the White House may say they “support victims of
domestic violence,” their actions claim otherwise.

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Trump Shows Sympathy for Alleged Domestic
Abuser Rob Porter, Says It’s ‘a Very Tough Time for

How many ways can the president show that he hates women? An
infinite number of ways, it seems.…

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to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the FBI closed
Porter’s file in January. Wray said that the FBI submitted a
partial report on Porter’s background check to the White House
in March and a completed report in July. The FBI shared a
follow-up report in November. Wray’s timeline contradicts the
White House’s assertation that Porter’s background
investigation was “ongoing” when the allegations of intimate
partner violence were made public.

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