Feb 10, 2018

Another White House staffer resigns amid domestic abuse claims

Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Trump administration speechwriter David Sorensen resigned today amid allegations of domestic violence brought forth by his ex-wife Jessica Corbett, WashPost first reported and Axios has confirmed. Sorensen denies the allegations, alleging he is the victim of abuse from Corbett.

Why it matters: Sorensen is the second administration official to resign over domestic violence claims this week. 

“It was an incredibly abusive relationship... I went very silently but it was very much known and I begged for help.” 
— Jessica Corbett to Axios

Corbett said Sorensen was "mostly emotionally and verbally abusive," but can recall five times things got physical — including once when he threw her against a wall during a drunken fight. She didn't deny getting physical with him, admitting she slapped him "every time he called me a [c*nt]."

Sorensen’s statement alleges Corbett was physically abusive on at least six occasions, and often threatened divorce “to manipulate and control.”

  • Sorensen told the Post he resigned because he  “didn’t want the White House to have to deal with this distraction.”

Sorensen’s position didn’t require security clearance and his background check was ongoing, a White House official said.

Principal Deputy Secretary Raj Shah: “Before we were contacted by the media, we learned last night that there were allegations. We immediately confronted the staffer, he denied the allegations and he resigned today.”

When the FBI asked Corbett about her relationship with Sorensen last fall during his background check, she said she told them about the abuse and played an audio clip for them, which Axios has obtained. The clip is a recording she made of an argument with Sorensen.

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U.S. and Taliban sign peace deal

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad (L) and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R) sign a peace agreement during a ceremony in Qatar. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images

The United States signed a peace deal with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar on Saturday after over a year of off-and-on negotiations, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The signing of the deal officially begins the process of ending the United States' longest war, which has spanned nearly two decades. The agreement sets a timetable for the U.S. to pull its remaining 13,000 troops out of Afghanistan, per the Times, but is contingent on the Taliban's completion of commitments, including breaking ties with international terrorist groups, such as al Qaeda.

Biden bets it all on South Carolina

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Most Joe Biden admirers Axios interviewed in South Carolina, where he's vowed to win today's primary, said they're unfazed by his embarrassing losses in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Why it matters: Biden has bet it all on South Carolina to position himself as the best alternative to Bernie Sanders — his "good buddy," he tells voters before skewering Sanders' record and ideas.

Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

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