Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday sharply criticized the White House response to allegations of spousal abuse against Rob Porter, the West Wing staff secretary who resigned a day earlier, saying that the aide’s departure was “long past due.”
“I can’t explain it,” Biden told MSNBC when pressed on the Trump administration’s handling of Porter. “It’s long past due that he left. I understand that he’s departed.”
Asked how Porter, who reportedly had not received his full security clearance despite prominently serving alongside President Donald Trump, could have had access to the president given the circumstances, Biden expressed befuddlement.
“I’m having enormous difficulty understanding how this White House functions,” he said.
Biden added: “The culture’s changing, and thank God, but not fast enough.”
Porter announced on Wednesday that he planned to resign from his influential role after allegations of abuse from his two ex-wives surfaced. Porter called their accounts “outrageous” and “simply false.”
White House chief of Staff John Kelly came under fire for initially defending Porter. He later issued a statement saying he was “shocked” by the allegations, adding: “There is no place for domestic violence in our society.”
In a wide-ranging interview, Biden also spoke out against Trump’s remark that Democrats who didn’t applaud during the State of the Union address last week could be considered “treasonous.”
“I can’t think of another president in American history, even in the Civil War, for
God’s sake, that talked like this,” Biden told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
Biden has not shied away from criticizing Trump since he left office, repeatedly denouncing the president’s rhetoric on issues of social justice and national security.
Biden told MSNBC on Thursday that Trump’s frequent factual inaccuracies brought into question the credibility of his public remarks.
“I find him just not credible on the things he says,” Biden said.