Gov. Paul LePage said Friday that he was “100 percent behind” a former White House speechwriter accused of domestic abuse and even offered David Sorensen his old job back in his administration.

LePage waded into the high-profile and messy dispute between Sorensen and his ex-wife, Jessica Corbett, during a radio interview with conservative talk show host Howie Carr. LePage told Carr he “never saw anything off-color” between his administration’s former policy adviser and Corbett or any evidence of the abuse she alleges. Sorensen has vehemently denied the allegations and accused Corbett of repeatedly abusing him during their tumultuous, 2 1/2-year marriage.

After the allegations first became public, LePage said he asked his daughter Lauren and her friends about the issue. Corbett was a member of Lauren LePage’s wedding party.

“They all disagreed with her, so I offered him his job back,” LePage said. “I told him if he wants to come back, he’s got a job.”

Sorensen served as LePage’s health care policy adviser.

Asked by Carr if he had spoken to President Trump about Sorensen, LePage said he hadn’t, but added: “They do know through his staff that I am 100 percent behind him (Sorensen) and that it was inappropriate, err, it was premature to let him go.”

Sorensen resigned his position as a White House speechwriter on Feb. 9 after The Washington Post approached him about the domestic abuse allegations Corbett relayed to the newspaper. He denied the allegations then – and has done so even more publicly since – but said he stepped down in order to avoid becoming a distraction for the White House.

Sorensen and Corbett, both in their mid-30s, have been publicly hurling abuse accusations at each other for the past month.

Corbett alleges her ex-husband was verbally and physically abusive, and accused him of shoving her against a wall, putting a cigarette out on her and running over her foot with a car. After Corbett went public with her allegations, Sorensen released a lengthy statement in which he recounted several incidents when his ex-wife punched him and was verbally abusive.

In an unusual twist, Sorensen released the results of polygraph tests that he said absolved him of any wrongdoing and challenged Corbett to submit to a test. She responded that she “will not defend myself against a scripted, rehearsed (lie) detector test.” In a tweet Friday evening, she also said LePage’s suggestions that she wasn’t telling the truth would mean she “fabricated all of the supporting evidence that the FBI and White House reviewed in their decision to not grant” her ex-husband a permanent security clearance.

Sorensen said later Friday that his job did not require a security clearance.

“Just as I’ve said in response to my ex-husband I will say to the Governor – the truth speaks for itself and I stand ready to defend myself against their attacks in court, should they wish to call me a liar,” Corbett said in an email to the Press Herald late Friday. “Instead, David has been joined by the Governor in attacking me in the media. I have zero interest in responding to their continued public smears and harassment.”

Corbett has also said that the personal attacks aimed at her over the last month are examples of why more women don’t go public about abuse.

Sorensen, for his part, also showed no signs of backing down from his accuser.

“I am thankful for Gov. LePage’s support and the support of so many lawmakers and virtually everyone who knew both me and my accuser,” Sorensen wrote in an email. “The polygraph I took vindicates me and it says a lot that my accuser will not do the same in the face of all the skepticism her baseless allegations have received. She has offered no proof whatsoever. Gov. LePage stands by his beliefs regardless of controversy and that is one of the many reasons why I am so proud to have worked for him.”

Kevin Miller can be contacted at 791-6312 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: KevinMillerPPH

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