Friday, 27 April, 2018

Mick Mulvaney denies that he's being considered to replace John Kelly

Donald Trump defends aide accused of beating ex-wives Friday as he defended aide Rob Porter who has been accused of beating both his ex wives
Steve Townsend | 12 February, 2018, 01:42

Trump's comments were a sharp contrast to those of Vice President Mike Pence, who told NBC's Lester Holt on Friday "there's no tolerance in this White House and no place in America for domestic abuse".

Democrats are demanding answers from the White House chief of staff and counsel about former aide Rob Porter, who resigned Wednesday amid allegations of domestic abuse.

That stands in contrast to a Trump tweet the day before in which he lamented that people's lives were being ruined by "a mere allegation".

The glowing praise of a staff member accused of serial violence against women was in line with the president's own denials of sexual impropriety despite accusations from more than a dozen women and his habit of accepting claims of innocence from men facing similar allegations.

"When a friend or an ally - a man - gets in trouble with these allegations of abuse or sexual harassment, the president's sympathies immediately go to the man", Stephanopoulos said. He said he hopes Porter has a "great career ahead of him" and that he did a "very good job" during his tie serving in the White House. Public pressure is one thing, but the White House has often proven itself to be impervious to it, through any number of highly controversial episodes that might have torn apart a previous administration. CNN's Jake Tapper tweeted back: "In point of fact, 2 ex-wives talking on the record to journalists and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and one ex-girlfriend on background, with a photo of a black eye and a police report, is not 'a mere allegation'".

Porter's abrupt departure raised questions about how long it took Trump's team to act on the accusations. The US president's remarks bore a likeness to his defence of sex scandal-hit Senate candidate Roy Moore in 2017.

Zuma's future in Ramaphosa's hands
The occasion marked the first time Mandela addressed South Africans after 27 years in prison for opposing apartheid. The demonstrations would have been timed to coincide with a parliamentary vote of no-confidence on February 22.


"Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation", he wrote.

Porter's departure, along with Kelly under fire, could deprive the West Wing of some of its steadier hands and anxious some staffers that the sense of order that appeared to have been installed in recent months could evaporate. Kelly was aware of the allegations well before they were publicly disclosed.

The president has now sounded out several people as possible replacements for Kelly. Most West Wing offices remained dark. Those possible replacements include Mick Mulvaney, the budget director; Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California; and Gary D. Cohn, Trump's top economic adviser.

But no action was taken to remove Porter from the staff, and instead, Kelly and others oversaw an elevation in Porter's standing; for example, he was one of a handful of aides who helped draft last week's State of the Union address.

The FBI informed the White House of these charges, which held up Mr Porter's application for a permanent security clearance. He had denied the allegations and alleged that he "was the victim of repeated physical violence" during his marriage.

Deputy White House spokesman Raj Shah said the White House only learned late Thursday about allegations against Sorensen, the speechwriter.

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