Second White House staffer resigns amid spousal abuse claims

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A second White House official resigned amid abuse allegations from a former wife.

Speechwriter David Sorensen resigned after Jessica Corbett alleged she was the victim of domestic violence during their two-and-a-half-year marriage. Sorensen told NBC News in a statement: “I want to be as unequivocal as possible: I have never committed violence of any kind against any woman in my entire life.”

In a text message to The Washington Post, Sorensen said he stepped down because he “didn’t want the White House to have to deal with this distraction. It should be able to focus on continuing President Trump’s historic accomplishments for the American People.”

Two days earlier, White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned after two of his former wives accused him of physical abuse.

The Washington Post reported that Corbett said her ex-husband ran over her foot with a car, put out a cigarette on her hand, threw her against a wall and grabbed her hair in the remote waters off the coast of Maine. Corbett said the worst she did to him was slap him.

“Before we were contacted by the media, we learned last night that there were allegations,” said Raj Shah, the White House’s principal deputy press secretary. “We immediately confronted the staffer, he denied the allegations and he resigned today.”

In his statement, Sorensen that “I was the victim of repeated physical violence during our marriage, not her.” He said he is “pursuing legal options to address her defamation.”

Sorensen provided photos to the Washington Post that showed injuries he said she inflicted upon him during their fights, including bruises and scrapes. But Corbett gave the Post a photo of her hand with a scar she said was from the cigarette burn.

Sorensen was a speechwriter for less than a year and worked at the Council on Environmental Quality, which is part of the Executive Office of the President. His position did not require security clearance and his background check hadn’t been completed by the FBI, administration officials said.

Before Donald Trump became president, had a position under Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage.

Corbett also was involved in politics, working for Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida in his first Senate bid and on former House speaker Newt Gingrich‘s 2012 presidential campaign. She then became finance director for Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, in his 2014 House bid.

“Everyone can think you’re the most wonderful guy, but you’re throwing women into walls by night,” she said.

Corbett called it “scary” that someone like her ex-husband had access to the White House after describing the reports to the FBI last fall.

Two friends and associates of Corbett said she told them her husband was abusive.

Sorensen previously was married to Mauranda Stahl, who wrote in an email that she had never known him to be violent or abusive since meeting him 10 years ago.

“In those years he never raised a hand to me or exhibited any behavior consistent with Jessica’s accusations,” she wrote in response to an inquiry by The Post. “Because of that I have a difficult time believing there is any validity to those claims.”

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