Just two days after former Trump aide Rob Porter resigned over domestic abuse allegations, another White House staffer stepped down following allegations in a similar vein.
David Sorensen, a speechwriter who worked under Trump senior policy advisor Stephen Miller, abruptly resigned Friday night as The Washington Post was reporting on domestic abuse allegations by his ex-wife Jessica Corbett.
Corbett, who first reached out to WaPo a week before news of Porter’s allegations broke, said that Sorensen acted violently and was emotionally abusive toward her during their two-year marriage.
Corbett alleges that during her marriage to Sorensen, partly when he was a top policy adviser to Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage, he “ran a car over her foot, put out a cigarette on her hand, threw her into a wall and grasped her menacingly by her hair while they were alone on their boat in remote waters off Maine’s coast, an incident she said left her fearing for her life.”
Corbett provided WaPo records of text messages and emails showing that “Sorensen berated her with vulgar language and she discussed the deteriorating marriage with others.” She also gave WaPo a photo of her hand bearing a scar she said was from the the cigarette Sorensen put out on her.
Although she didn’t file a police report, Corbett told WaPo that she spoke with the FBI in October about Sorensen’s abusive behavior last fall as he underwent a background check by the bureau.
Sorensen denies the allegations and claims that Corbett was the one who “victimized him,” per WaPo, saying he had “never committed violence of any kind against any woman in my entire life.”
“In fact, I was the victim of repeated physical violence during our marriage, not her,” Sorensen said in a lengthy statement. Sorensen told WaPo that he consulted with an attorney and was “considering legal options to address her defamation.”
Sorensen alleges that Corbett “punched him on multiple occasions,” per WaPo. He described one incident where he “attempted to leave in his car and she ran after him as he was pulling away, injuring herself in the process,” and another where “she grabbed the steering wheel as he drove on a highway and punched him in the face during an argument.”
Sorensen also provided photos to WaPo of what he said were injuries, such as bruises and scrapes, Corbett inflicted on him.
Sorensen told WaPo in a text message that he resigned because “didn’t want the White House to have to deal with this distraction.”
WaPo reports that while Sorensen said he’d “hoped never to have to discuss his ex-wife and their tumultuous marriage,” he views news of the allegations as “an opportunity to highlight the grossly underreported and unacknowledged issue of female-on-male domestic violence.”
Corbett acknowledged that several abusive incidents involved alcohol and that “she slapped Sorensen a number of times after he called her a vulgar term.” However, she maintained to WaPo that she never went beyond slapping him and that her claims are “100 percent true and that is why he had to resign.”
According to WaPo, White House officials said they learned of the allegations Thursday night, prior to WaPo requesting comment.
“We immediately confronted the staffer, he denied the allegations and he resigned today,” spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement Friday evening, per WaPo.
Corbett told WaPo it was “scary” that her ex-husband had White House access after the abuse allegations she recounted to the FBI.
“Everyone can think you’re the most wonderful guy, but you’re throwing women into walls by night,” Corbett said.
Sorensen told WaPo that “like many domestic abusers,” Corbett was “especially adept at controlling her rage so that no others witnessed her physical attacks.”
Sorensen and Corbett’s marriage was finalized in September, per records reviewed by WaPo.