Rob Porter's Ex-Wife Says He Asked Her to 'Downplay' Abuse Allegations

The more details we learn about former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, the worse it sounds — both for him and the White House. In a revealing, emotional interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN earlier tonight, Porter’s second ex-wife Jennie Willoughby detailed his angry, abusive behavior during their marriage, as well as the efforts she and Colbie Holderness, Porter’s first ex-wife, took to inform the Trump administration about Porter.


Willoughby said that part of her motivation for speaking out was to encourage other people in abusive relationships to seek help. One topic she emphasized was how Porter had a charming personality and was “able to rise professionally and have the accolades from so many,” to be supported by so many people, despite being very different in their private life.

“It was a low-grade constant terror of not knowing what I might do to set something off, what mood he would have,” she said. “There weren’t any explicit threats but I frequently felt threatened.”

Willoughby declined to call him a monster, describing him as capable of being “intelligent,” “kind,” and “professional,” but also “deeply troubled, angry, and violent.”

According to Willoughby, she and Porter have had a cordial relationship since their divorce, and have occasionally spoken by telephone. One of these calls came about two weeks ago, as the Daily Mail was preparing to break the story about the abuse allegations against Porter.

Willoughby said that Porter asked her to take down a blog post she wrote about a year ago. When she declined, he then asked her to release a statement downplaying the story describing the abuse in her marriage.


“Ultimately, the language he asked, I wasn’t comfortable with,” she said, explaining that he had asked her to say that the post did not accurately reflect her marriage.

“That just didn’t feel right to me, because it [the blog post] does accurately reflect my marriage,” Willoughby said. “The things that I said were factual statements.”

“He was asking me to downplay it.”

Willoughby also said that she does not believe that Porter has gotten the help he needs, and that means he is likely to repeat his past angry and abusive behaviors. She is worried about White House communications director Hope Hicks, who is reported to be currently dating Porter.

“If he hasn’t already been abusive with Hope, then he will,” she said.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos