President Donald Trump’s White House staff secretary, Robert Porter, resigned Wednesday, just hours after the Daily Mail posted pictures of an ex-wife with a black eye who claims Porter abused her.

A Tuesday post by the Mail shook the White House behind the scenes, but officials issued statements supporting Porter after the story first appeared without the photo.

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But on Wednesday, the Mail posted a new story with photos of Porter’s first wife, Colbie Holderness, with a black eye. Holderness, 37, a federal government employee, also detailed past alleged abuse by Porter.

Porter resigned soon after Wednesday’s publication.

Not long after news of Porter’s resignation hit Twitter, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders held a briefing, and blasted the reports by the Mail. Sanders read a statement from Porter, in which he claims he shot the photos the Mail used from Holderness.

“These outrageous allegations are simply false,” Porter’s statement says. “I took the photos given to the media nearly 15 years ago, and the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described.”

But the press had many questions for Sanders.

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One question left unanswered was how Porter rose to one of the highest and most trusted positions on the White House staff with such alleged behavior known to the FBI.

The FBI interviewed both of Porter’s ex-wives and recorded their stories.

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That includes the story of Jennifer Willoughby, Porter’s second ex-wife, who filed a protective order against him after he violated their separation agreement, according to the Mail. Porter reportedly refused to leave Willoughby’s apartment some time in 2010. The police were called and Porter allegedly shattered a door window.

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Porter never gained final approval for a security clearance from the Office of Personnel Management, presumably because of the past incidents. However, he qualified for a federal building pass.

Porter, 40, was one of Trump’s most trusted advisers. He was often seen at events, and would often present the president with bills to sign. The role of staff secretary can also be a stepping stone to higher offices: John Podesta started off as staff secretary for former President Bill Clinton and eventually became his chief of staff.

Before he arrived at the White House, Porter served as chief of staff for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

The Mail had previously reported that Porter was dating Hope Hicks, the White House communications director.

Because of his connection to Trump, the White House hoped to fight the charges and keep Porter. On Tuesday, John Kelly, chief of staff, issued a statement to the Mail defending Porter: “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 confidant and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him.”

Politico reported Kelly had previously known about the protective order that prevented Porter from getting the security clearance.

Porter said he will stay on his job long enough to aid with the transition.

The Wednesday turn of events seemed to rattle the White House press office anew. After the Mail posted the newest story about Porter, the White House escorted reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post and Axios into the press offices, in full view of other reporters awaiting Sanders’ Wednesday press briefing.

The three reporters exited the press office, then began tweeting reports that Porter had resigned.

Sanders did not take questions from two Mail reporters who regularly attend briefings. Instead, she came out and took questions — and then blasted the Mail, without naming it, for a smear campaign aimed at Porter.

PoliZette White House writer Jim Stinson can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.