Former White House aide Rob Porter’s ex-wives appeared to accept Sen. Orrin Hatch’s apology letters for his initial statement on the abuse allegations against their former husband.
“I feel like it’s a sincere apology,” Jennie Willoughby, one of Porter’s ex-wives, told a Washington Post reporter over the weekend. “Having been in D.C. for upwards of 12 to 13 years, I feel like this is sufficient given what I know to be true.”
Colbie Holderness, Porter’s first wife, confirmed to CNN that she also received a letter from Hatch.
“I appreciate his apology,” she said.
The Utah Republican sent letters to Willoughby and Holderness explaining that he did not know the underlying allegations of physical abuse by Porter. Hatch had instead been led to believe that “political enemies” were after Porter and planned to use his failed marriages against him.
The senator initially released a statement aggressively defending his former chief of staff:
It’s incredibly discouraging to see such a vile attack on such a decent man. Shame on any publication that would print this — and shame on the politically motivated, morally bankrupt character assassins that would attempt to sully a man’s good name.
I know Rob. I’ve known him for years, both as a close friend and as a personal adviser. He is kind and considerate towards all. The country needs more honest, principled people like Rob Porter, which is why I hope that this cynical campaign to discredit his character ultimately fails.
When the allegations — and photos of Holderness’s bruised eye — surfaced, Hatch walked back his defense of Porter.
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“In every interaction I’ve had with Rob, he has been courteous, professional, and respectful,” Hatch said.
“Domestic violence in any form is abhorrent and unacceptable,” he said, adding that he did not know the details of Porter’s personal life.