The White House denounced abuse Monday in words that the building's top spokeswoman said were dictated by Donald Trump - although not delivered by the president, reports Daily Mail.
Sarah Sanders said in a statement that the Trump administration takes 'domestic violence very seriously' and the president believes 'all allegations need to be investigated thoroughly.'
'Above all the president supports victims of domestic violence and believes everyone should be treated fairly and with due process,' she said at a news conference, where allegations of abuse from former staff secretary Rob Porter's two ex-wives continued to hound the president.
President Trump has been excoriated for his response to the allegations that appeared on DailyMail.com in back-to-back articles on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning of last week.
It took the president more than 48 hours to react after Porter's first wife, Colbie Holderness, shared her story alongside pictures she says were taken on a vacation after her then-husband gave her a black eye.
Trump said then that Porter was a hard worker who he hoped would have a successful career, despite what had happened.
He made no mention of the women who spoke out against the White House aide who was allowed to resign on his own terms on Wednesday afternoon.
The president had a second chance to address domestic violence charges on Saturday. But instead of condemning abuse, Trump complained about people whose lives had been destroyed by 'mere allegations.' They, too, deserve due process, he said.
Trump's response to the scandal had Porter's second ex-wife up, Jennifer Willoughby, up in arms on Monday.
Writing in Time magazine, Willoughby said Trump had signaled 'the work Rob was doing in the White House was of higher value than our mental, emotional or physical wellbeing. That his professional contributions are worth more than the truth. That abuse is something to be questioned and doubted.'
'If the most powerful people in the nation do not believe my story of abuse in the face of overwhelming evidence, then what hope do others have of being heard?' she asked.
Questioned about the president's 'tone deaf' tweet on Monday at the White House's daily press briefing, Sanders denied that it was.
'I don't think the president being, supporting due process, for any allegation is not tone deaf,' she said. 'I think it is allowing things to be investigated and a mere allegation not being the determining factor.'
The Trump spokeswoman said, 'It's not taking a side one way or the other on any specific issue, he's talking about mere allegations shouldn't be the determining factor for any individual. That there should be due process.'
President Trump told reporters Friday in his only public statement on the episode that he was 'surprised' and made 'sad' by the allegations, 'but we certainly wish him well. It's obviously a tough time for him. ... we hope he has a wonderful career.'
Privately, the president is said to have blamed Porter for creating a crisis for the administration. He told one confidant during a phone call Thursday that Porter was 'bad garbage,' according to The New York Times.
Axios reports that Trump called Porter 'sick' behind closed doors after DailyMail.com published the ex-wives' accounts of suffering long-term physical abuse, and he believes the women, despite not mentioning either of them on Friday as reporters listened and camera shutters clicked.
Holderness told DailyMail.com that Porter choked and punched her during their marriage, while Willoughby said he dragged her wet and naked out of the shower and was verbally abusive.
The Porter saga has developed into a full-scale crisis for the Trump administration as questions swirled about who in the White House knew about his past – and when.
Sanders said Monday that the White House 'learned of the extent of the situation involving Rob Porter last Tuesday evening, and within 24 hours, his resignation had been accepted and announced.'
Her account directly conflicts with Chief of Staff John Kelly's claim to reporters on Friday that Porter was out within 40 minutes. She would not square the two when asked about the differing claims on Monday.
'I can tell you that a conversation took place within 40 minutes. And beyond that, I really don't have anything else to add,' Sanders stated.
Earlier on Monday on 'Fox & Friends,' a program the president watches religiously, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley was asked why Trump won't condemn Porter publicly.
'I don't know if he is going to say that publicly or not, and I've not spoken with the president about this,' Gidley responded, claiming moments later that 'the president has been very clear that all forms of abuse, all forms of battery against women are deplorable and disgusting.'
'He hasn't said that!' responded co-host Brian Kilmeade.
The Trump spokesman said, 'I have talked to the president about issues surrounding this type of behavior, and he finds it disgusting.'
Cornered on the president's widely panned performance on Friday, Gidley again insisted that 'the president has been out against domestic violence for a long time.'
'He didn't – in the Oval Offfice, the thing you are probably talking about – he was asked specifically about Rob Porter. The president deplores – thinks that domestic violence is grotesque.'
Multiple senior White House officials defended Porter last week, even after DailyMail.com published gruesome photos of a black eye Porter's first wife said was a result of him punching her.
And the White House's press team, according to Axios, said some senior officials urged Porter not to resign, but instead 'to stay and fight.'
On Friday Trump cautioned reporters that Porter 'says he's innocent.'
A day later he tweeted that '[p]eoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. 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?'
Aides told some reporters on Sunday that Trump meant that tweet as a commentary on the saga of longtime friend Steve Wynn, who has resigned from the company he built following accusations of sexual harassment.