US President Donald Trump has praised a former aide who resigned this week amid allegations of domestic abuse.
“We wish him well,” he said in his first public remarks about the claims against ex-White House staff secretary Rob Porter. “He worked very hard.”
Questions are being asked about who knew what and when about the claims against Mr Porter, 40.
One ex-wife says he gave her a black eye. Another filed a restraining order, she says. Mr Porter denies the claims.
Yet he had received interim security clearance to act as gatekeeper to the US president.
Speaking in the Oval Office on Friday, Mr Trump said: “We found out about it recently and I was surprised by it but we certainly wish him well and it’s a tough time for him.
“He did a very good job while when he was in the White House.
“And we hope he has a wonderful career and he will have a great career ahead of him.
“But it was very said when we heard about it and certainly he’s also very sad now.
“He also, as your probably know, says he’s innocent and I think you have to remember that.”
White House communications director Hope Hicks’ handling of the controversy has reportedly displeased Mr Trump.
She has reportedly been in relationship recently with Mr Porter.
According to CNN, Mr Trump believes the 29-year-old aide put her own interests above the president’s.