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White House says Trump takes 'domestic violence very seriously,' despite public comments;

Posted at 4:20 PM, Feb 12, 2018

The White House maintained on Monday it did not know the "extent" of the allegations against Rob Porter until last Tuesday evening, when they were first reported in the Daily Mail.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended the actions the administration took in the wake of the reports and claimed the entire administration takes domestic violence seriously.

"The President and the entire administration take domestic violence very seriously and believe all allegations need to be investigated thoroughly," Sanders said. "Above all, the President supports victims of domestic violence and believes everyone should be treated fairly and with due process."

"We've addressed this situation extensively and we have nothing more to add at this time on the topic," Sanders said.

Two of Porter's ex-wives have alleged he verbally and physically abused them.

Pressed why Trump himself hasn't expressed support for victims of domestic violence, Sanders said the President dictated the statement that she read about the matter.

"I spoke with the President ... and he relayed that message to me," Sanders said.

Later she said Trump "literally dictated" the statement she read in Monday's briefing.

Those comments come in the wake of Trump's public remarks on the issue on Friday, which praised Porter's integrity.

On Saturday, Trump doubled down, a day after being criticized for empathizing with the plight of Porter, his former staff secretary, while ignoring the violent accounts detailed by Porter's ex-wives.

"Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation," Trump tweeted.

"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?"