Women’s advocacy groups and other critics are calling on President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff, John Kelly, to resign in response to his defense of White House staff secretary Rob Porter—who stepped down Wednesday amid allegations that he abused two ex-wives—and reports that Kelly knew about the alleged abuse but ignored it.

“John Kelly is not reining in Trump’s worst and dangerous tendencies—he is enabling, encouraging, and amplifying them.”
—Nita Chaudhary, Ultraviolet

“It is time for John Kelly to go. It is now clear that he is not part of the solution, but rather a large part of the problem in this White House,” declared Ultraviolet co-founder Nita Chaudhary, decrying not only Kelly’s position on Porter’s employment, but also his recent remarks about Dreamers and other past behavior.

She challenged the popular narrative that, when it comes to managing the president’s antics, Kelly is one of the “adults in the room,” charging that “John Kelly is not reining in Trump’s worst and dangerous tendencies—he is enabling, encouraging, and amplifying them.”

Also demanding Kelly’s immediate resignation was Toni Van Pelt, the president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), who noted that “as chief of staff, it is his duty to protect the people who serve in the White House,” but “women who work for John Kelly” now know that “clearly, they can’t” trust him.

“His pathetic defense of staff secretary Rob Porter reveals his true nature—an enabler of sexual abusers, a betrayer of trust and an avoider of responsibility,” Van Pelt added. “He’s on Team ‘Grab Them By The Pussy,’ leaving women who are victimized by sexual violence to fend for themselves.”

“His pathetic defense of staff secretary Rob Porter reveals his true nature—an enabler of sexual abusers, a betrayer of trust and an avoider of responsibility.”
—Toni Van Pelt, NOW

The inital reports about the abuse allegations levied against Porter featured a comment from Kelly, who called him “a man of true integrity and honor” as well as” a friend, a confidante, and a trusted professional.”

Late Wednesday, Kelly added: “I was shocked by the new allegations released today against Rob Porter. There is no place for domestic violence in our society. I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that I have come to know since becoming Chief of Staff, and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation.”

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