Sunday, 27 May, 2018

Who makes final call on WH staff background checks? Not the FBI

White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter who is stepping down following allegations of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives. | AP White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter who is stepping down following allegations of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives. | AP
Lillian Steele | 09 February, 2018, 05:20

Kelly, an immigration hardliner, played a key role in killing a bipartisan immigration deal last month, which led to a three-day partial government shutdown.

Before joining the administration, Porter, a Harvard Law School graduate, spent almost three years as chief of staff to longtime Utah Republican Sen.

Trump's White House thought that they could away with having a serial domestic abuser in a senior position.

"In this and many, many other areas, it appears that the Oversight Committee has constructed a wall around the White House in order to prevent any credible oversight whatsoever", he wrote.

Willoughby, who said she divorced Porter in November 2013, made a decision to go public about the allegations after facing pressure from Porter to issue a statement that she felt "minimized" her experiences in their marriage.

Staff secretary Rob Porter said in a written statement that allegations that became public this week are "outrageous" and "simply false".

"Domestic violence in any form is abhorrent".

She had been the director of communications for the White House's Office of Public Liaison.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed, "He is going to be leaving the White House". His second wife had written a blog post, without naming Porter, that said her husband had called her a name, physically prevented her from leaving the house and punched in a glass door in her home when she was locked inside. She revisited the accusations that Trump himself has sexually harassed women, allegations he has denied.

For many staffers, Kelly had brought a much-needed sense of order to a White House that had been riven with rivalries and was frequently upended by the whims of a mercurial president.

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner listens as President Donald Trump answers questions at a news conference, in Bedminster, N.J., August 2017. He served as a clearinghouse for paperwork coming in or out of the Oval Office, and he was an important influence on policy in his own right. Trump vigorously defended Roy Moore, the failed Alabama Republican Senate candidate, against allegations that included child molestation, and Sanders has said that multiple women who have accused the president of sexual misconduct were lying. The FBI was aware of the allegations against him and did not grant him security clearance. Porter never received a permanent clearance.

But recent reports have put her at the center of a pair of major White House controversies. "But this is further evidence of a nonexistent vetting process".

The FBI does the leg work when it comes to investigating White House officials seeking security clearances, like former secretary Rob Porter, but the White House ultimately calls the shots.

All of the officials interviewed for this story requested anonymity to discuss a personnel and national security matter. "My staff loved him and he was a trusted advisor", Hatch said.

"It's unclear what kind of vetting process was followed in this case", Maloney said in a statement.

"Americans were hoping he would be there with the fire hose, but too often now we've seen he's there with the gasoline", Swalwell said.

Ms Willoughby, a motivational speaker, told the DailyMail.com she was married to Mr Porter from 2009-13.

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