During her press briefing on Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to say whether President Donald Trump believes accusations that his former staff secretary, Rob Porter, physically abused his two ex-wives.
When ABC's Cecilia Vega asked about that, Sanders said the president took domestic violence allegations “very seriously,” “supports victims of domestic violence” and believes the accused should receive “due process.”
“That doesn't answer the question,” Vega shot back. Sanders responded, however, that she wouldn't say anything beyond what she already said.
After Porter said last week that he would resign, Trump appeared to publicly defend individuals who faced accusations like Porter did:
Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused - life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2018
But behind closed doors, Trump has reportedly called Porter “sick.”
CNN's Jim Acosta suggested that Trump's tweet indicated he believed Porter over his accusers and asked whether Trump's apparent defense stemmed from sensitivity over his own allegations.
In response, Sanders reiterated her previous comments and elaborated on Trump's call for due process.
“The president's simply saying that there should be a due process that should be followed and looked at,” Sanders said.
When Acosta asked whether Trump was tone deaf or on the “wrong side of things,” Sanders said she didn't think Trump's position — supporting due process — was “tone deaf.”
Sanders also told the press that regardless of any individual American's past, Trump wanted all to succeed.
“I think the president of the United States hopes that all Americans can be successful in whatever they do,” she said.
“And if they've have had any issues in the past — I'm not confirming or denying one way or the other — but if they do, the president wants success for all Americans.”