By Jessica Valenti
The Guardian (2/9/18)
It’s no secret that Trump respects men who keep women in their place: “You have to treat ’em like shit.” Perhaps that’s why top White House staffer Rob Porter got a hero’s goodbye this week, even as a picture of his ex-wife’s battered face was splashed across the news.
Porter, accused of assaulting both of his ex-wives and a former girlfriend, gave his resignation but “was not pressured to do so”, according to press secretary Sarah Sanders. In fact, Sanders lauded Porter as having the full confidence of the president and Gen John Kelly, and took the time to read Porter’s statement, in which he called the accusations “vile” and a “smear campaign”.
This came less than a day after Kelly called Porter “a man of true integrity and honor” in response to the allegations. So much for women being “sacred”. As it turns out, the White House knew for quite some time about Porter’s history of domestic violence – he couldn’t get security clearance because of it – but continued to rally behind him. In fact, Kelly promoted Porter soon after finding out about the abuse.
The only reason Porter left at all was because the picture of his ex’s bruised face surfaced. Given that Trump has been shopping around the theory that the Access Hollywood tape of him bragging about grabbing women’s genitals isn’t really him,I almost expected the White House to call the picture “fake news”.
Porter did find the time, however, to insist he was the one that took the picture – as if that somehow excuses him from punching his wife in the face. (For a history of how the Polaroid changed how we treat domestic violence, watch this incredible Ted Talk.)
The truth is that Porter’s history of abuse allegations is less of an anomaly than a feature of this administration. Former chief strategist Steve Bannon was charged with domestic violence and battery in 1996 after his then wife called 911; police noted at the time that she had marks on her wrists and neck that supported her account of being assaulted. The charges were dismissed when his wife failed to appear in court.
- What Did John Kelly See In Rob Porter? — he reports of John Kelly’s handling of the case of the now former White House staff secretary Rob Porter raise a question: What does Kelly, President Trump’s chief of staff, see when he looks at the people around him? … Read the Rest
Trump Campaign Co-Chair Gets 20 Years For Sexual Abuse & Trafficking Teens
By Tom Boggioni
The Raw Story (2/11/18)
Tea Party leader and former Trump campaign chair Tim Nolan has pleaded guilty and received 20 years in prison for human trafficking, reports Cincinnati.com.
According to the report, Nolan, 71, a former judge, used drugs and threats of arrest to force women and girls under the age of 18 into sex acts.
Pleading guilty to 21 of the counts filed against him — for crimes committed dating back to 2004 — Nolan accepted a plea deal where he will serve 20 years in prison and pay a $100,000 fine, becoming eligible for parole in four years, his attorney stated.
Some of the incidents occurred in the summer of 2016 while Judge Nolan was serving as the chair of the Donald Trump campaign in Campbell County, KY. …
Documenting Trump’s Long History Of Abuse Of Women
By Jane Mayer
The New Yorker (10/24/16)
When the news broke that Donald Trump had been caught on video in 2005 boasting that, as a celebrity, he feels free to “grab” women “by the pussy,” Harry Hurt III experienced a sense of vindication. In 1993, Hurt published “Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump,” an unauthorized biography that has long been out of print. The day the tape surfaced, he was hitting golf balls at a driving range in Sagaponack, New York, when a text message arrived from a friend: “Donald is done!”
After Hurt watched the tape, he said, “I thought, Finally, this behavior is coming out.” But he doubted that the revelation would do any real damage to Trump’s campaign. Researching his book, in the early nineties, Hurt discovered and documented more serious instances of Trump’s mistreatment of women, yet most news outlets had declined to report on them. Even during the current campaign, Hurt said, “I’ve been a voice in the wilderness.”
For his 1993 book, “The Lost Tycoon,” Harry Hurt III acquired Ivana’s divorce deposition, in which she stated that Trump raped her.
When “Lost Tycoon” was published, Kirkus Reviews credited Hurt, a former contributing editor at Texas Monthly, with having written “a slick, informed account.” The Times ignored it. Trump denounced it, and last year, in a tweet, he called Hurt a “dummy dope” who “wrote a failed book.”
The part of the book that caused the most controversy concerns Trump’s divorce from his first wife, Ivana. Hurt obtained a copy of her sworn divorce deposition, from 1990, in which she stated that, the previous year, her husband had raped her in a fit of rage. In Hurt’s account, Trump was furious that a “scalp reduction” operation he’d undergone to eliminate a bald spot had been unexpectedly painful. Ivana had recommended the plastic surgeon. In retaliation, Hurt wrote, Trump yanked out a handful of his wife’s hair, and then forced himself on her sexually. Afterward, according to the book, she spent the night locked in a bedroom, crying; in the morning, Trump asked her, “with menacing casualness, ‘Does it hurt?’ ” Trump has denied both the rape allegation and the suggestion that he had a scalp-reduction procedure. Hurt said that the incident, which is detailed in Ivana’s deposition, was confirmed by two of her friends.
Hurt held on to his copy of Ivana’s sealed deposition for years. “It was sworn testimony,” he said. But eventually, when he was cleaning house during his own divorce, he said, “I threw it all out.” He went on, “The larger tragedy is that Trump might be elected President of the United States. I never imagined in my wildest nightmares that it would come to this.”
Before Hurt’s book came out, Trump’s lawyers pressured the publisher, W. W. Norton, to paste a clarifying statement from Ivana into the flyleaf of every copy. …