White House says Trump ‘shocked’ by allegations against aides

WASHINGTON: The White House insisted on Sunday that Donald Trump was “shocked and disturbed” by allegations of domestic abuse that led two staffers to resign, though the president said earlier that lives were being ruined by possibly false claims. Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to Trump, said the president pushed the two staffers out the moment he saw credible evidence against them. Other top White House aides similarly supported Trump’s handling of the latest controversy to upend his administration. “I think the president, like the rest of us, were shocked and disturbed by the allegations,” she said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Conway said the job of White House chief of staff John Kelly was not in jeopardy over his handling of the matter, after critics said Kelly badly mishandled the matter. Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper about Trump’s tweet on Saturday that lives were being “destroyed” by allegations that are sometimes false, Conway said there was “no reason not to believe the women,” especially as they had given evidence to the FBI under the threat of perjury. Trump made no mention of the ex-wives or the alleged domestic abuse. But Conway said Trump was “a man who shows great compassion and understanding for women.” Several women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct before he assumed office, claims which he dismisses as lies. — AFP