Second Trump administration staffer resigns
- Speechwriter David Sorensen resigned Friday after the White House learned of the allegations against him
- Sorensen's ex-wife, Jessica Corbett, claimed he was violent and emotionally abusive during their two-and-a-half year marriage
- Corbett said she informed the FBI about the abuse claims last fall as the agency was conducting a background check on Sorensen
- Corbett claims Sorenson purposefully ran over her foot with a car, put out a lit cigarette on her hand and pushed her violently against a wall
- She also alleges that he grabbed her menacingly during a private boat trip off the coast a Maine, a moment she said she feared for her life
- Staff secretary Rob Porter, one of the president's closest aides, resigned Wednesday after the publication of abuse allegations
- Both Sorensen and Porter deny the accusations made against them
Published: 01:52 GMT, 10 February 2018 | Updated: 06:00 GMT, 10 February 2018
A second White House staffer has departed the Trump administration in the wake of abuse allegations.
Spokesman Raj Shah confirmed speechwriter David Sorensen resigned Friday after the White House learned of the allegations against him.
Shah says Sorensen denies the allegations, which were first reported by The Washington Post.
Accusations made by Sorenson's ex-wife include: him running over her foot with his car on purpose, burning her with a lit cigarette and violently throwing her against a wall, along with emotional emotional abuse.
David Sorensen and Jessica Corbett at the Blaine House, the Maine governor's residence, on Thanksgiving Day in 2015
She also told the Post that he once grasped her by her hair while they were alone on a boat off the coast of Maine and held her over the ledge, a moment she said she feared for her life.
Sorensen's ex-wife claimed he was violent and emotionally abusive during their two-and-a-half year marriage (Pictured White House Spokesperson Raj Shah)
Sorensen, a White House staffer who worked under senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, turned in his resignation as the Washington Post was working on a story about abuse claims by his ex-wife, Jessica Corbett.
Corbett told the Post that she informed the FBI about the abuse claims last fall as the agency was conducting a background check of Sorensen.
Staff secretary Rob Porter, one of the president's closest aides, resigned Wednesday after the publication of allegations that he'd abused his two ex-wives. A former girlfriend of Porter has also stepped forward with claiming abuse. He, too, denies the allegations.
The sudden departure of the speechwriter comes just two days after Staff secretary Rob Porter (Pictured) , one of the president's closest aides, resigned over abuse allegations
Two of Porter's ex-wives, first to Colbie Holderness ( Left) then to Jennifer Willoughby (Right), claim the senior White House official physically abused them
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, right, stands during a meeting in the Oval Office between President Donald Trump on Friday
The White House said that it learned of the allegations against Sorenson Thursday night, a day before the Post contacted administration officials for comment.
'We immediately confronted the staffer, he denied the allegations and he resigned today,' Shah said in a statement Friday evening.
Sorensen later told the Post via text message that he stepped down because he 'didn't want the White House to have to deal with this distraction.'
'It should be able to focus on continuing President Trump's historic accomplishments for the American People,' he added.
The Post reported that Corbett approached the publication a week before the Porter accusations were publicized by DailyMail.com.
Corbett claims that during their short-lived marriage, Sorenson was repeatedly abusive both physically and emotionally.
During the time of the alleged incidents, Sorenson was a top policy adviser to Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage.
Sorenson claims, however, that he was the one who suffered the brunt of his former spouse's violent outbursts, telling the Post that he was physically assaulted by Corbett on multiple occasions.
Sorensen said he had 'never committed violence of any kind against any woman in my entire life.'
'In fact, I was the victim of repeated physical violence during our marriage, not her,' he continued, adding that he is 'considering legal options to address her defamation.'
President Donald Trump defended Porter when he spoke to reporters in the Oval Office on Friday
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly walks with White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter November 29, 2017
Corbett admits that several of the incidents involved alcohol and had once struck Sorenson after he called a vulgar name.
The speechwriter said that its regretful that details of his tumultuous marriage have become public, but hopes 'this incident is an opportunity to highlight the grossly underreported and unacknowledged issue of female-on-male domestic violence.'
In response to Sorensen's allegations Friday evening, Corbett maintained that her violence never escalated beyond slapping him, according to The Washington Post.
'Everything I told you is 100 percent true and that is why he had to resign today,' she said.
This latest resignation comes as the White House still tries to quiet the scandal surrounding Porter's exit.
Porter stepped down from his job following on-the-record claims to DailyMail.com from his ex-wives Colbie Holderness and Jennifer Willoughby about the abuse they say they suffered during their marriages to the former Trump aide.
White House staff Hope Hicks and Rob Porter re photographed spending the night together in Washington D.C on January 27, 2018
Holderness claims Porter choked and punched her during their marriage, while Willoughby says he dragged her wet and naked out of the shower and was verbally abusive.
On Friday, DailyMail.com also reported that White House Chief of Staff General John Kelly was told by Porter's then-girlfriend in October 2017 that Porter's ex-wives were prepared to level devastating accusations of spousal abuse against him.
White House counsel Don McGahn had also known since early 2017 that Porter was at risk of being accused of being violent with the women.
Porter's ex-girlfriend denies ever speaking to Kelly, but the official in his chain of command confirmed on Friday morning that the conversation took place.
A White House official told DailyMail.com hours after being asked for comment, and after this story was first published, that 'Chief Kelly denies ever speaking about this matter with Mr. Porter’s ex-girlfriend.'
Kelly has been in damage-control mode since DailyMail.com first broke the Porter story on Tuesday. The Washington Post reported Friday morning that he has been instructing White House staffers to publicly describe his reaction and involvement in a way that contradicts the established timeline of events.
Speechwriter David Sorensen (Pictured Left) resigned Friday after the White House learned of the allegations against him made by his ex-wife Jessica Corbett (Right)
President Donald Trump was not informed about Porter's alleged history of abuse until Tuesday night when DailyMail.com first reported the ex-wives' claims.
Kelly also learned from federal law enforcement in November, weeks after Porter's live-in girlfriend spoke with him, that accusations against Porter were keeping him from receiving a permanent security clearance.
But he continued to give Porter more and more responsibilities to control the flow of information to the president.
DailyMail.com is not identifying the girlfriend because she is a victim of domestic abuse accusations.
Porter has denied the 'vile' accusations, but was unceremoniously bounced from his White House job this week.
Complicating matters, White House Communications Director Hope Hicks is reportedly involved in a romantic relationship with Porter and allegedly helped craft his denial after the abuse allegations came to light.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump defended Porter when he spoke to reporters in the Oval Office on Friday.
He said of the allegations: 'I found out about it recently and I was surprised by it. But we certainly wish him well. It's obviously a tough time for him.'
'He did a very good job when he was in the White House and we hope he has a wonderful career, and hopefully he will have a great career ahead of him.'
Former deputy staff secretary Derek Lyons has been promoted to acting staff secretary. The Harvard Law School grad previously worked as a senior adviser to Jeb Bush's 2016 presidential campaign and Sen. Rob Portman, according to his Linkedin profile.