White House Faces Questions About Key Aide's Employment

Rob Porter

Chief of Staff John Kelly in particular has come under scrutiny for initially defending Porter.

Mr Kelly has yet to comment on reports that he knew of the allegations against Mr Porter. But this week, I've been stunned at Kelly's behavior.

Outlets including CNN and The Washington Post published the images provided by Holderness on Wednesday. A day later, Kelly encouraged Porter to "weather the storm" and stay in his job, according to the Post, which said it was Porter who "decided the controversy had become too much" on Wednesday. He has also stated that "there is no place for domestic violence in our society". In the story's wake, Porter submitted, and Kelly had accepted, his resignation on Wednesday.

Ms Holderness supplied a photo of herself with a black eye to the media.

Porter called the allegations "outrageous" and "simply false".

Senior aides to President Donald Trump knew for months about allegations of domestic abuse levied against Porter by his ex-wives, even as Porter's stock in the West Wing continued to rise, multiple sources told CNN on Wednesday.

Author Chris Whipple, who wrote a history of White House chiefs of staff, summed it up by saying Kelly's handling of the Porter situation shows he is "politically inept".

White House chief of staff John Kelly said Porter had "true integrity and honor".

"There was not a thumbs up or thumbs down", Shah said.

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Speaking with reporters in Japan, Pence - who's on his way to the Winter Olympics in South Korea - said he had just learned of the accusations against Porter that morning and wouldn't comment on them until he was back in the states. That doesn't change how serious and disturbing these allegations are.

Few administration officials have been as vociferous in their defenses of Trump's character - as well as of his hard-line policy views on immigration and national security - than Kelly, who in turn has become a subject of occasional mockery and derision by critics of the historically unpopular president.

Shah explained to reporters Thursday that Porter went through a common "background investigation process" that all potential US government officials go through. "You've got to take the denials seriously", Shah said.

The president - Shah said - did not know that Porter was operating under a temporary clearance during his time at the White House and said the president was "saddened" by the news and for all the individuals involved.

Because the review was still ongoing, Shah said there had been no determination one way or another whether Porter qualified for a permanent security clearance.

DailyMail.com first published a photo of one ex-wife's bruised face.

Colbie Holderness told CNN that she gave the Federal Bureau of Investigation details of her abuse at the hands of Porter in a January 2017 interview. The Intercept said both of his ex-wives had been interviewed by the FBI as part of a background investigation when Porter was hired at the White House.

She also alleged he punched her in the face while they were on holiday a couple of years later in Florence, Italy. And sometimes good people make bad decisions.

The allegations were leveled by Porter's two ex-wives and such is the grave nature of the allegations that the official has offered to resign.

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