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Carlos Curbelo: White House needs to answer more questions on domestic abuse claim of former aide

February 12, 2018 GMT

Rep. Carlos Curbelo said Monday that President Trump’s remarks about a former aide’s alleged domestic abuse claims should have included more acknowledgement of the women’s suffering, and more answers about why the aide was employed at the White House for so long.

“It’s important for them to be transparent and explicit about who knew what, when, and why it took so long to act,” Mr. Curbelo, Florida Republican, said on CNN.

Mr. Curbelo was reacting to news last week that former White House aide Rob Porter was accused of domestic abuse both verbal and physical by two ex-wives. The White House initially defended Mr. Porter until a photo of his first ex-wife with a black eye was released. Mr. Porter submitted his resignation, which was accepted.

“Especially after looking at those pictures, we have to really express the concern and the pain we have for those women,” Mr. Curbelo added.

Mr. Trump said last week that he felt bad for Mr. Porter and wished him well, but did not say anything about the women involved.

Axios reported over the weekend, however, that the president called his former aide “sick” and said men who hurt their wives will never change. But the report adds that Mr. Trump also sees the rising number of sexual assault and harassment claims as unfair.

“I understand the president’s sentiment too. I don’t think we need to rush to convict people, to condemn people, and yes everyone should have the ability to defend themselves, but that doesn’t mean we ignore the pain and suffering of the victims of domestic abuse, which is very real and very serious,” Mr. Curbelo said.