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Second White House staffer resigns amid domestic violence allegations

Lindsey McPherson, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- White House speechwriter David Sorensen has resigned amid allegations of domestic abuse, although he denies being violent and said he was actually the victim, according to The Washington Post.

Jessica Corbett, Sorensen's ex-wife, claimed that he was violent and emotionally abusive during their 2 1/2-year marriage, but Sorensen vehemently denies the allegations and said he was the victim of domestic violence in the marriage, the Post said.

White House officials said they learned about Corbett's allegations -- she had confided to the FBI last fall -- Thursday night and immediately confronted Sorensen, before the Post inquired about them.

"He denied the allegations and he resigned today," spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement to the Post.

Sorensen told the Post in a text message that he stepped down because he "didn't want the White House to have to deal with this distraction."

Sorensen's resignation came as the Post was reporting a story on Corbett's claims, which included that he ran a car over her foot, rubbed a burning cigarette on her hand and threw her into a wall. Corbett also told the Post that she feared for her life during an incident on a boat where Sorensen grasped her menacingly by her hair.

Sorensen said he was looking into legal options to pursue defamation charges against Corbett, who he claims punched him on multiple occasions.

After one of those incidents he attempted to leave in his car "and she ran after him as he was pulling away, injuring herself in the process," the Post said. It was unclear from the Post report if that was Sorensen's version of what Corbett claimed was him running over her foot.

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Both Corbett and Sorensen provided the Post with photos to back up some of their claims.

Sorensen's first wife told the Post in an email that she has never known him to be violent or abusive.

Sorensen is the second White House aide to resign this week amid domestic abuse allegations. White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned after press reports detailing allegations from two ex-wives who claimed he physically abused them. One of the ex-wives offered pictures of a black eye as proof. Porter has denied the allegations.

President Donald Trump on Friday defended Porter, citing his proclamation of innocence, and said he did a good job in the White House and wished him well in his future endeavors.

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