Rob Porter
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (L) and Staff Secretary Rob Porter follow President Donald Trump as he walks to board Marine One to head to Missouri to push the Republican tax plan, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., Nov. 29, 2017. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter resigned Wednesday amid allegations of abuse from his two ex-wives. Reports suggested top White House officials were aware of the allegations, and were among the politicians who chose to defend him when Porter’s wives took their stories public.

Among those who backed Porter were White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah. Porter worked for Hatch as chief of staff before joining the White House team.

Reports suggested senior White House officials were aware of the allegations for months and this did not stop them from elevating Porter’s status. He was among those who visited Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum, and also helped draft the State of the Union address.

CBS News reported FBI had informed the White House in November about the domestic abuse allegations but it was not known how the White House reacted. FBI was informed by Porter's ex-wives about their experiences when the agency contacted them as part of a screening process for the White House aide.

A senior official informed Politico that an ex-girlfriend of Porter, who also works in the Trump administration, informed White House counsel Don McGahn about his abuse of ex-wives.

When asked about the allegations, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, “Consistent with the practice of past administrations, issues related to an individual’s suitability are reviewed through a thorough and lengthy background check process. … Rob Porter has been effective in his role as Staff Secretary. The president and chief of staff have full confidence in his abilities and his performance.”

The White House did not comment on Kelly’s knowledge but his defense of Porter was published in Daily Mail on Tuesday. He said, “Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor and I can't say enough good things about him. … He is a friend, a confidante [sic] and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him.”

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, who is rumored to be romantically involved with Porter, supposedly helped draft the supportive statement from Kelly.

Kelly released another statement late Wednesday, saying he was “shocked by the new allegations.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch, in an exclusive statement to the Daily Mail, said Tuesday, "It's incredibly discouraging to see such a vile attack on such a decent man. Shame on any publication that would print this—and shame on the politically motivated, morally bankrupt character assassins that would attempt to sully a man's good name. … I know Rob. I've known him for years, both as a close friend and as a personal advisor. He is kind and considerate towards all. The country needs more honest, principled people like Rob Porter, which is why I hope that this cynical campaign to discredit his character ultimately fails."

But, the moment an allegation from his second wife was published, Hatch’s support seemed to have evaporated. He released a statement saying, “I do not know the details of Rob’s personal life. Domestic violence in any form in abhorrent.”

Sources told CNN that President Donald Trump himself came to know of the allegations this week and was upset with the reports of abuse.

However, when asked by reporters about whether Trump had concerns about Porter’s conduct, Sanders said, “I don’t know.”

Speaking to the Daily Mail on Tuesday, Porter’s second wife Jennifer Willoughby said he was abusive and had on one occasion dragged her naked and wet out of the shower. She added he called her a “f------ b----” during their honeymoon.

After the report was published, Porter’s first wife, Colbie Holderness, also spoke up about how he choked and punched her. Daily Mail also published photographs of Holderness with a black eye. She revealed she had given the photographs to FBI.

Porter denied the allegations in a statement released Wednesday.

"These outrageous allegations are simply false," he said in his statement. "I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign."

His role in the White House was to look into the papers that reached the president’s desk, which included executive orders. Porter also vetted the documents that required Trump’s signature.