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House oversight investigating WH handling of Rob Porter

House oversight investigating WH handling of Rob Porter

Last week, members of the news media were placed in the awkward position of deciphering which was the more important story: the allegations that former White House secretary Rob Porter beat his ex-wives, or that members of the White House staff - including Chief of Staff John Kelly - many have known about the allegations prior to the news breaking.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, told reporters that he is "totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind".

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has come under heavy criticism for an initial response that came to the defense of Porter and reports that he knew about the allegations months before they were reported in the news.

Last Saturday, Trump tweeted that "lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation".

And David Sorensen, a speechwriter for the Council on Environmental Quality, resigned on Friday after The Washington Post reported on domestic abuse allegations against Sorensen.

That contradicted White House press secretary Sarah Sanders' assertion Monday that the White House learned "the extent of the situation involving Rob Porter" on February 6 - the day of the initial Daily Mail report - and that Porter's security investigation hadn't been completed.

NBC reporter Peter Alexander pointed out on Twitter that before today, Trump's had never spoken about domestic violence or domestic abuse on any platform ever before. Trump, according to sources close to him, has been incensed at the way Kelly has handled the situation, failing to inform him of the allegations against Porter and then continuing to defend him as it unfolded.

The White House did not respond for comment.

Even Dina Powell, who serves as President Trump's deputy national security adviser but left the administration last month, did not have a permanent security clearance.

The allegations against Porter, however, are "unusual" and "an egregious infraction", and it's important to know more about what Porter told investigators and how the process moved from there because "he was clearly working to downplay it or mislead".

More news: US to play France, Ireland and Paraguay in football friendlies

A top White House energy adviser said he resigned after being told he wouldn't receive a permanent security clearance, amid intensifying scrutiny of administration officials only temporarily authorized to review classified information.

A day later, the Intercept published photographs of Porter's first wife with a black eye, which she said he had given her during their Italian honeymoon in 2005.

Both Willoughby and Holderness have said they were upfront in their January interviews with the Federal Bureau of Investigation about what they describe as years of emotional, verbal and physical abuse from Porter.

"In a case like that, I would have every reason to believe that the White House counsel and chief of staff would be kept apprised of that", Price said. "The FBI notified the White House that there were issues", Moss said.

Last week, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, urged Gowdy to take action, accusing Republicans of having "constructed a wall around the White House in order to prevent any credible oversight whatsoever".

Gowdy asked for the information by Wednesday, Feb. 28th.

The answer has to do, I think, with a lack of integrity, an absence of a moral compass, a narcissism in which the all-consuming need becomes to protect oneself and one's boss.

The Trump White house - with notorious anti-pot Attorney General Jeff Sessions leading the charge - has vowed to crack down on marijuana, including the pot business that has been legalized in many states.

Officials familiar with the process have said complicated background checks and a backlog at the start of an administration have slowed the clearance process.


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