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Kirby writes: "Speechwriter David Sorensen is stepping down as the Rob Porter fallout is just beginning."

Donald Trump. (photo: Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)
Donald Trump. (photo: Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)


A Second White House Aide Resigns Over Domestic Abuse Allegations

By Jen Kirby, Vox

12 February 18


Speechwriter David Sorensen is stepping down as the Rob Porter fallout is just beginning.

nother Trump administration official is resigning amid accusations of domestic abuse, just days after White House staff secretary Rob Porter stepped down after he faced similar allegations.

The Washington Post’s Elise Viebeck reports that David Sorensen, a speechwriter, is resigning. His ex-wife, Jessica Corbett, has accused Sorensen of physical and emotional abuse in their two-and-a-half-year marriage. The couple divorced in September.

Sorensen denied the allegations to the Post, saying that he was the victim and that he resigned because he didn’t want the allegations to be a “distraction.” The Post was working on the story when he resigned.

The White House “should be able to focus on continuing President Trump’s historic accomplishments for the American People,” Sorensen texted to the Post.

The Trump administration told the Post it learned of the allegations Thursday night. “We immediately confronted the staffer, he denied the allegations and he resigned today,” White House spokesperson Raj Shah said in a statement to the Post.

Corbett told the Post that Sorensen had run over her foot with a car, put out a cigarette on her hand, and had thrown her into a wall. The Post reviewed text messages and spoke with people close to Corbett who verified that she had discussed the incidents in her marriage at the time to them.

Corbett said she did not report the alleged abuse to law enforcement at the time because she feared retaliation, but she did say she told the FBI about the alleged incidents last month as the bureau conducted a background check on him. Sorensen’s job does not require a security clearance.

Corbett in a Medium post on Friday discussed her decision to come forward and said it was never her intention to go public. “When I was initially approached I hesitated sharing any of the details of this horrible time in my life,” she wrote. “But then I thought about the thousands of women living in domestic abuse situations on a daily basis and knew I couldn’t be silent and abandon these brave and oftentimes voiceless women.”

She pointed out she has “passionately and diligently” worked in Republican politics for years and acknowledged she would likely “pay a price for telling this story.” She said she stands by what she told the Post.

Sorensen has long been in GOP politics

Sorensen, 32, formerly served as an adviser to Republican Gov. Paul LePage of Maine, and worked as a Republican politician in the state before that. Corbett also worked in Republican politics.

A spokeswoman for Le Page told the Post in a statement that the governor and his staff were unaware of any accusations against Sorensen, and the governor “has a zero-tolerance policy regarding domestic abuse.”

Sorensen went further than to deny the incidents. He told the Post that Corbett was abusive toward him. The car incident, he said, happened after he tried to flee after an encounter, and Corbett had injured herself in the process. He told the Post that “this incident is an opportunity to highlight the grossly underreported and unacknowledged issue of female-on-male domestic violence.”

Sorensen’s departure comes after the White House is still reeling from the fallout of abuse allegations against Rob Porter, the former White House staff secretary. The FBI was reportedly aware of the abuse allegations against Porter, which turned up during a background check for security clearance. It was reported that White House officials also knew of the allegations against Porter before he officially stepped down on Wednesday.


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