Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

White House says President Trump still confident in Kelly

US White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter resigns after domestic abuse allegations Rob Porter gives Donald Trump a document as former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus looks on. | Jonathan Ernst Reuters
Ivan Hill | 10 February, 2018, 05:26

Kelly imposed a strict system of information flow to the President, elevating the importance of Porter's task in managing the documents, news clippings and briefing books that entered the Oval Office.

"These outrageous allegations are simply false", he said.

Trump speaks with Rob Porter and Sen. "And we hope he has a wonderful career".

"The allegations against Rob Porter are serious and deeply troubling", Shah said. "It is important for me to tell you - you are not alone".

The White House says former staff secretary Rob Porter was working at the White House under an interim security clearance while his background check was being completed. The form asks the applicant to disclose if there are any current restraining orders against them, and if they have been "a party to any public record civil court action not listed elsewhere on this form" in the past decade.The form states that "withholding, misrepresenting, or falsifying information may affect your eligibility for access to classified information, eligibility for a sensitive position, or your ability to obtain or retain Federal or contract employment".

In another interview Thursday, Willoughby told NBC News the Federal Bureau of Investigation asked her whether she believed Porter could be blackmailed with information of his alleged abuse.

Porter originally meant to stay on indefinitely to help ensure a smooth transition, but White House officials encouraged him to leave sooner as the firestorm grew.

"You have got to take allegations seriously, you have got to take denials seriously", he said. The incidents took place long before he joined the White House. "The truth must be determined", Shah said.

Though Lewandowski has reportedly bad mouthed Porter in the past, he denied the allegations he orchestrated the abuse claims made against him.

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Faulkner began the interview by asking whether Trump - who told reporters Friday that the allegations were "very sad" while reminding his audience that Porter "says he's innocent" - deserves "credit" for addressing the situation head on.

In this particular instance, it is more than fair to second-guess Hicks's judgment, which could have been clouded by her romantic relationship with Porter.

Kelly has come under criticism for his response to the revelations.

The president, for his part, has not signaled to allies that he is on the verge of making a change. Kelly in particular viewed Porter as a right-hand man who would impose his system of order even in his absence. She told Cooper that Kelly may well have believed Porter's downplayed version of events-an indication of Porter's manipulative tendencies, and Kelly's remarkable reluctance to investigate whether one of his close confidantes was actually an abuser of women. Trump restored the job as an "assistant to the president". Trump is known to frequently poll his advisers about the performance of senior staff and is often reluctant to actually fire aides. As an assistant to the president, Porter was paid the top White House staff salary of $179,000.

"Political malpractice for John Kelly", Lewis declared. "Otherwise, he's gone, too". She revisited the accusations that Trump himself has sexually harassed women, allegations he has denied.

In the Daily Mail's initial report on the allegations published Tuesday, Chief of Staff John Kelly offered Porter high praise. "His pathetic defense of staff secretary Rob Porter reveals his true nature - an enabler of sexual abusers, a betrayer of trust and an avoider of responsibility".

Shah declined to say how many other members of the Administration were operating with temporary security clearances.

After Porter's two ex-wives publicly accused him of physically and emotionally abusing them during their marriages, he resigned on Wednesday.

"I didn't realize the extent of what I was dealing with, and thankfully, there was a police officer who sort of counseled me", Willoughby said.

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