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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.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
9 mins ago - Economy & Business

GM's shrinking deal with Nikola

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

General Motors will no longer take an equity stake in Nikola Corp. or build its pickup truck, under a revised deal that still envisions GM as a key tech supplier for Nikola's planned line of electric and fuel cell heavy trucks.

Driving the news: The revised agreement Monday is smaller in scope than a draft partnership rolled out in September that had included a $2 billion stake in the startup and an agreement to build its Badger pickup.

58 mins ago - Technology

Exclusive: Facebook's blackout didn't dent political ad reach

Photo: Valera Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Americans saw more political ads on Facebook in the week before the 2020 election than they did the prior week despite the company's blackout on new political ads during that period, according to Global Witness, a human rights group that espouses tech regulation.

Why it matters: The presidential election was a key stress test for Facebook and other leading online platforms looking to prove that they can curb misinformation. Critics contend measures like the ad blackout barely made a dent.

Wall Street wonders how bad it has to get

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wall Street is working out how bad the economy will have to get for Congress to feel motivated to move on economic support.

Why it matters: A pre-Thanksgiving data dump showed more evidence of a floundering economic recovery. But the slow drip of crumbling economic data may not be enough to push Washington past a gridlock to halt the economic backslide.