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Rob Porter ex-wife: I told FBI about the abuse

NBC News logo NBC News 2/8/2018 Dartunorro Clark
Image: Kristen Welker interviews Jennifer Willoughby, one of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter ex-wives.Kristen Welker interviews Jennifer Willoughby, one of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter ex-wives. © Provided by NBCU News Group, a division of NBCUniversal Media LLC Image: Kristen Welker interviews Jennifer Willoughby, one of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter ex-wives.Kristen Welker interviews Jennifer Willoughby, one of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter ex-wives.

Jennifer Willoughby, an ex-wife of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, told NBC News on Thursday that she informed the FBI during a background check interview for his security clearance that he had been abusive toward her.

"During the FBI background interview for security clearance, I shared with the FBI all of the details that I shared in previous articles, including access to a protective order from June of 2010, and police calls that I had made to our home," she told NBC News' Kristen Welker.

"I shared with them the details of my marriage the same as I have been in the interviews and articles that have come out."

Willoughby also said she thought it was possible that Porter could be blackmailed about the alleged abuse in response to a question from the FBI.

"I actually had difficulty answering that question because I believed that the people who had the power to blackmail him would be the women who had been in personal relationships with him, so in short the answer could be maybe," she said.

Porter resigned Wednesday, a day after a British online publication reported allegations from two ex-wives, including Willoughby, of physical and verbal abuse.

Willoughby told The Daily Mail that said felt manipulated while married to Porter and said his anger was unpredictable.

Willoughby said the abuse started on their honeymoon and that she filed a restraining order against Porter in June 2010 after he punched the glass on a door to their home and refused to leave, violating their separation agreement.

Porter, who was an influential figure in President Donald Trump's administration, denied the allegations in a statement on Wednesday announcing his departure, saying, "These outrageous allegations are simply false."

Watch more of the interview tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC's "Nightly News with Lester Holt."

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