Carol Costello is the host of “Across America With Carol Costello” on HLN. The views expressed in this commentary are her own.
(CNN)It is clear that Hope Hicks’ boss, President Donald Trump, does not care about women. And that includes Hicks. “It’s sad,” Mr. Trump said of accusations against alleged wife beater Rob Porter. “We certainly wish him well,” he said. “It’s obviously a tough time for him. He did a very good job when he was in the White House.”
Porter, Mr. Trump’s staff secretary, may have done a bang-up job delivering classified documents to the President — without the benefit of an FBI security clearance — but his past, unbeknownst to the President, has thrown the White House into chaos. Trump hires in his own image — bullies, posers, and bad boys But, the President seems more upset at Hicks, his communications director, for her role in the affair than at Porter. Hicks has been dating Porter and helped prepare a rather fawning statement in defense of him on behalf of the President.Sources tell CNN Mr. Trump is “frustrated” that Hicks let her romantic relationship with Porter cloud her judgment, even though her prepared statement was awfully similar to the glowing assessment Trump trumpeted to the nation. Thank goodness for Porter’s ex-wives. One of them, Colbie Holderness, provided pictures of the abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of Porter immediately after they got married. The pictures show a grim Holderness with one very black eye. “The thing he would do most frequently,” she said, “is throw me down on a bed and he would just put his body weight on me and he’d be yelling at me, but as he was yelling he’d be grinding an elbow or knee into my body to emphasize his anger.”Read MoreWhy men like John Kelly do nothing when abuse allegations surfacePorter’s second wife, Jennifer Willoughby, also feared Porter. She was forced to take out a temporary protective order in 2010 to keep Porter away from her. She also thinks Hicks should run from Porter as fast as she can. “If he hasn’t already been abusive with Hope [Hicks], he will.”Porter has denied the abuse allegations.Perhaps President Trump is privately advising Hicks to cut ties with Porter, but if he thinks Porter is innocent, I have my doubts. Sadly, Trump’s support for Porter’s and Hicks’ silence on the matter is damaging Hick’s reputation. A headline inside People magazine reads, “Inside Hope Hicks’ Troubled Romances with Ousted Top Trump Aides Rob Porter and Corey Lewandowski.” The article details these affairs without any comment from Hicks, Lewandowski or Porter.Cue the slut shamers. On my Twitter feed, comments with the hashtag #HopeHicks about her and her love life are so disturbing, that I loathe to give them any more oxygen.
It is journalistically sound to cite Hicks’ relationship with Porter because she reportedly crafted that glowing press statement for the President. If true, that was unethical and she should have recused herself. Does she deserve to be slut-shamed and only be identified by her “troubled romances”? No. Will it continue? Yes, yes and yes. And I don’t think the President will rush to her defense.So, run Hope Hicks, run. Save yourself. Not only from Rob Porter, but from President Trump’s obvious disdain for women.