â€˜The Words â€˜Mere Allegationâ€™ and â€˜Falsely Accusedâ€™ Meant to Imply That I am a Liarâ€™
â€œOn Friday, a friend and I watched as the President of the United States sat in the Oval Office and praised the work of my ex-husband, Rob Porter, and wished him future success,â€ Willoughby wrote. â€œI canâ€™t say I was surprised.â€
â€œBut when Donald Trump repeated twice that Rob declared his innocence, I was floored,â€ she continued. â€œWhat was his intent in emphasizing that point? My friend turned to me and said, â€˜The President of the United States just called you a liar.â€™ Yes. And so he did.â€
As NCRM reported on Friday, the president did indeed finally weigh in on the scandal. â€œWe wish him well. He worked very hard," Trump said, defending Porter. He further noted that he found out about the allegations "recently," and that he was "surprised.â€
â€œWe certainly wish him well. It's obviously a tough time for him,â€ Trump continued. â€œHe did a very good job when he was in the White House, and we hope he has a wonderful career, hopefully he will have a great career ahead of him.â€
Trumpâ€™s commentary brought about quick backlash, but didnâ€™t end there. On Saturday, the president tweeted that â€œlives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new.â€
â€œThere is no recovery for someone falsely accused - life and career are gone,â€ he continued. â€œIs there no such thing any longer as Due Process?â€ Again, more backlash.
But none of the backlash has been as powerful as Willoughbyâ€™s, who wrote that â€œthe words â€˜mere allegationâ€™ and â€˜falsely accusedâ€™ meant to imply that I am a liar. That Colbie Holderness [the wife of the second White House official who resigned this week] is a liar.â€
â€œThat the work Rob was doing in the White House was of higher value than our mental, emotional or physical wellbeing,â€ she continued. â€œThat his professional contributions are worth more than the truth. That abuse is something to be questioned and doubted.
She further advised that â€œof courseâ€ the White House and former colleagues had defended her ex-husband, noting that they â€œvalued and respected himâ€ and that â€œdenial is easier than devastation.â€ She continued:
Everyone wants to talk about how Trump implied I am a not to be believed. As if Trump is the model of kindness and forgiveness. As if he readily acknowledges his own shortcomings and shows empathy and concern for others. I forgive him. Thankfully, my strength and worth are not dependent on outside belief â€” the truth exists whether the President accepts it or not.
I think the issue here is deeper than whether Trump, or GeneralÂ John Kelly, orÂ Sarah Huckabee Sanders, or SenatorÂ Orrin Hatch, orÂ Hope Hicks, or whether anyone else believes me or defends Rob. Society as a whole has a fear of addressing our worst secrets. (Just ask any African-American citizen). Itâ€™s as if we have a societal blind spot that creates an obstacle to understanding. Society as a whole doesnâ€™t acknowledge the reality of abuse.
The tendency to avoid, deny, or cover up abuse is never really about power, or money, or an old boysâ€™ club. It is deeper than that. Rather than embarrass an abuser, society is subconsciously trained to question a victim of abuse. I would call it an ignorant denial based on the residual, puritan, collective agreement that abuse is uncomfortable to talk about.
â€œIn light of the Presidentâ€™s and the White Houseâ€™s continued dismissal of me and Colbie, I want to assure you my truth has not been diminished,â€ Willoughby concluded. â€œI own my story and now that I have been compelled to share it, Iâ€™m not willing to cover it up for anyone.â€
She also shared her message for all victims of abuse. The entire piece, very much worth the read, can be found here.
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