President Trump condemned domestic violence in general terms on Wednesday, more than a week after allegations surfaced that his staff secretary had abused his two ex-wives and under intense criticism for his administration's response to the scandal.
"I am totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind. Everyone knows that. And it almost wouldn't even have to be said," Trump said.
Trump faced criticism last week when he defended his former staff secretary, Rob Porter, after the aide resigned.
Trump praised Porter, saying he did "a very good job when he was in the White House," adding that it was "a tough time for him."
The president later tweeted that "people's live's are being shattered by a mere allegation."
Trump has previously come to the defense of men accused of sexual misconduct, including Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, and former Fox News chair Roger Ailes.
This week the White House press secretary dodged questions as to why the president would not publicly condemn domestic violence himself.
"The president has been clear multiple times through myself and others within the administration that we condemn domestic violence in all forms," Sanders said Monday.
When pressed as to why Trump himself has not said he supports victims of domestic abuse — he tweets and makes his own statements all the time — Sanders fired back saying she is "the spokesman for the president and the White House and I said it right now."
"He literally dictated that statement on me," she said. "So I'm not sure how that's not the president speaking on that topic."
More than a dozen women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct or unwanted sexual advances, many of which came forward during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The White House and President Trump have accused all of the women of lying about the allegations.
The president was also accused of having an extramarital sexual relationship with adult film star Nicole Clifford (who goes by the name Stormy Daniels) in 2006. Trump denied the affair.
Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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