- US President Donald Trump reportedly thinks Rob Porter, the former White House staff secretary accused of beating multiple women, is "sick" and guilty.
- But Trump has publicly defended Porter, with the White House calling for due process for the accused.
- Reports indicate that the White House knew about the allegations against Porter and that Trump simply valued his loyalty.
US President Donald Trump may have a more nuanced view of the drama engulfing the former White House staff secretary Rob Porter than he lets on — and he may be standing by an ally he personally considers guilty.
Four sources close to Trump told the news website Axios’ White House correspondent, Jonathan Swan, that Trump saw Porter, who stepped down last week amid allegations of domestic violence, as "sick" and guilty.
Axios said Trump had read aloud an article describing allegations of abuse by Porter and had difficulty reconciling the report with Porter's neat, Harvard image. The Daily Mail article reportedly read by Trump contains detailed allegations of violence by Porter against his second ex-wife while they were married, and other women have since come forward.
Axios said Trump viewed men who beat their wives in the same way he did child molesters — as "sick puppies" who will never change.
The behind-the-scenes insight differs from Trump's public defense of Porter.
Team Trump goes all out on defending Porter
On Saturday, Trump tweeted that "lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation" and called for due process in what was widely interpreted as a defense of Porter. Furthermore, after Porter left the White House, Trump wished him good luck and said he had "a great career ahead of him."
Reports that key members of the White House knew about the allegations long before they became public last week have plagued the White House, with the suggestion that Trump simply valued his loyalty. Some key Trump administration officials have, however, expressed shock at finding out about Porter only recently.
On Sunday, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to Trump, made the rounds on the Sunday political shows to denounce domestic violence while also defending the White House's jumbled response to Porter's ouster.
Amid the scandal, a 2012 tweet of Trump’s comments on the domestic-abuse case involving the musicians Chris Brown and Rihanna has been making the rounds again. "If @ is dating @ again then she has a death wish. A beater is always a beater--just watch!" the old Trump tweet said.