February 11, 2018

White House Budget Chief Mick Mulvaney on Sunday argued that it was "normal and reasonable" for the White House to defend a staffer who had been accused of spousal abuse.

On Sunday's edition on Face the Nation, host Major Garrett noted that both President Donald Trump and his chief of staff, John Kelly, had defended Rob Porter after they knew that the FBI had refused to grant him a security clearance due to allegations that he abused two of his ex-wives.

"Why shouldn't women reasonably wonder if this White House doesn't have a lax attitude when it comes to the question of domestic abuse?" Garrett asked Mulvaney.

"I don't think we have a lax attitude," the budget director replied. "I think what you saw happen this week was completely reasonable and normal."

"Reasonable and normal?" Garrett interrupted.

"Let me explain that," Mulvaney continued. "The president had someone working for him who came to him and said, 'Look, I've been accused of this, I've been falsely accused of this. Please don't believe it, it's not true.' If your cameraman came to you, you would give that person the benefit of the doubt or at least you would want to do that because you know that person and you trust that person."

"That's what the president did," he insisted. "Up until the time when it became obvious, when the photographs came out, when the person was not being honest with the president. And after that happened, we dismissed that person immediately."

According to Mulvaney, it is wrong to "throw people out on the street based just on the allegations."

"The president and the chief of staff [John Kelly] are much more likely to believe people, not based on their gender, but based on their relationship with him," Mulvaney explained. "If Kellyanne Conway had come to the president and said something, we'd be more inclined to believe that person than the person that we don't know. Again, I think that's a very natural human reaction."

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