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“He…says he is innocent.”

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Donald Trump lavishly praises Rob Porter, because of course:

For all the turmoil, Mr. Trump on Friday warmly praised Mr. Porter, saying it was a “tough time” for his former aide and noting that Mr. Porter had denied the accusations.

“We wish him well,” Mr. Trump said of his former aide, who was accused of physical and emotional abuse by two ex-wives. The president added, “He also, as you probably know, says he is innocent, and I think you have to remember that.”

“He worked very hard,” Mr. Trump told reporters in the Oval Office when asked for a comment about Mr. Porter. The president said he had only “recently” learned of the allegations against his former aide and was surprised.

“He did a very good job when he was in the White House, and we hope he has a wonderful career, and he will have a great career ahead of him,” Mr. Trump said. “But it was very sad when we heard about it, and certainly he’s also very sad now.”

The glowing praise of a staff member accused of serial violence against women was in line with the president’s own denials of sexual impropriety despite accusations from more than a dozen women and his habit of accepting claims of innocence from men facing similar allegations. Among them was Roy S. Moore, the former Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, who is accused of molesting teenage girls.

You can’t say Trump is a hypocrite. Which is an object lesson in why “hypocrisy” isn’t actually a very useful standard to evaluate politicians. Terrible misconduct doesn’t become any less terrible because someone doesn’t pretend to be a good person, and hypocrisy isn’t actually a good reason to discuss conduct that otherwise is of no relevance to someone’s job performance.

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