The Rob Porter scandal has exposed the real John Kelly
The Rob Porter scandal has exposed the real John Kelly
Rob Porter gives Donald Trump a document as former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus looks on.
| Jonathan Ernst Reuters
10 February, 2018, 06:44
Porter was allowed to continue serving in a role where he had access to classified information despite the fact his security clearance had not yet been approved, and that it wasn't approved because his ex-wives accused him of assaulting them during arguments.
Rob Porter's ex-wife appeared on Today on Friday morning to discuss her four-year marriage to the disgraced White House secretary.
Porter was operating with an interim security clearance at the time of his resignation Wednesday.
The White House says it "could have done better" in its handling of allegations of domestic abuse against former staff secretary Rob Porter.
On Thursday night, a White House official released a letter that Kelly had written to White House employees seeking to allay their concerns over the accusations against Porter. Their accounts of Porter's conduct are harrowing, but attention has also been focused on the White House response to the allegations going public. He described Trump as being "surprised", "disheartened" and "saddened" by the allegations.
Trump was not consulted when Hicks and several other aides drafted a White House statement defending Porter, and he is under the impression that Hicks has let her romantic relationship with Porter cloud her judgment, a source familiar said.
Trump's comments Friday were a sharp contrast to those of Vice-President Mike Pence, who told NBC's Lester Holt "there's no tolerance in this White House and no place in America for domestic abuse".
She claimed Porter once dragged her out of the shower naked during a fight, and was verbally abusive, calling her a "fucking bitch" on the pair's honeymoon.
But as CNN reported Thursday, it was widely known by early fall of previous year among top aides - Kelly included - that Porter was facing trouble obtaining security clearance and that he had allegedly abused his ex-wives.
Porter has denied the allegations as "simply false" and "outrageous".
"He became fully aware about these allegations yesterday", said Shah. Though he is coy about what he's getting at when he asks about Mulvaney, most aides and associates assume he is referencing the chief of staff position.
Both women also told CNN Wednesday that a third woman, a girlfriend of Porter's, contacted them for advice about how to deal with Porter's "repeated abuse".
They had also described the marriages with the Federal Bureau of Investigation past year as part of a background check for his job. Willoughby, a 39-year-old writer and motivational speaker, said she authorized investigators to obtain a protective order she filed in 2010 after he refused to leave her Arlington, Virginia, apartment, in violation of their separation agreement.
In a subsequent television interview, Kelly, the former Department of Homeland Security secretary, said the president had "evolved in the way he looks at things" - drawing a rebuke from Trump on Twitter, who said his plan had "never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it".
Just as troubling, in my mind, are reports that Chief of Staff John Kelly also knew that Porter was never going to receive a security clearance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
On Thursday, the Post also reported that Porter has been explaining the pictures of Holderness' black eye, which she has distributed to the media, saying that "they were arguing over a vase, and she was somehow hit with the vase".
"There was no coordination of this", she said.
Numerous commenters keyed in on Willoughby's description of the loneliness and isolation of abuse. Shah added that Kelly retained the president's confidence. Sanders said Porter would stay on for a period of time to ensure a smooth transition.
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