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White House speechwriter resigns amid domestic abuse allegations

[WASHINGTON] A White House speechwriter resigned Friday amid accusations of domestic abuse, becoming the second Trump administration official to depart this week after facing media questions about alleged violence.

David Sorensen, who worked at the Council on Environmental Quality, denies the allegations of spousal abuse but nevertheless tendered his resignation, White House spokesman Raj Shah said Friday.

Mr Shah added that the White House immediately confronted Mr Sorensen upon learning of the allegations on Thursday night.  A White House official speaking on the condition of anonymity said Mr Sorensen's position at the White House did not require a security clearance, and that his routine background check had been ongoing.

Mr Sorensen's former wife claimed that he was physically and emotionally abusive during their marriage, according to a report in the Washington Post. The allegations became public just days after former staff secretary Rob Porter resigned amid claims of abuse by two former wives and an ex-girlfriend. 

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White House officials have faced criticism for their handling of the Porter episode, after initially offering statements supportive of him. On Friday, President Donald Trump praised Mr Porter's performance and did not denounce domestic violence in comments to reporters in the Oval office.

"He did a very good job when he was in the White House and we hope he has a wonderful career and hopefully he will have a great career ahead of him," the president said. 

Mr Trump reminded reporters that "he says he's innocent and I think you have to remember that".

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