Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

FBI, White House conflict on Porter case

FBI, White House conflict on Porter case

In testimony on Capitol Hill, Mr. Wray upended the White House's timeline of the events that led to Mr. Joni Ernst told CNN about a report that the White House arranged for Porter to defend himself privately to reporters after the allegations surfaced. Yet Wray testified that the FBI sent the White House its preliminary report in March 2017 and its completed investigation in late July.

Kelly has pleaded ignorance about Porter's alleged abusive background, saying he only recently found out about it. But Conway and I definitely agree on one thing she said during that interview: "There's a stigma and a silence surrounding all these issues". There was also a giant hole, however, in Gidley's praise of process: As the Washington Post has reported, top Trump administration officials knew for months about allegations against Porter.

Given the sort of coverage Fox has supplied in relation to the Trump administration, we'll take this formula: One Fox & Friends co-host presses a White House official on the news of the day, forcing him into an absurd frenzy of dissembling. As Conway herself pointed out, it's a story of multiple domestic violence allegations, complete with contemporaneous police reports and a photograph of a woman's swollen black eye. Once again, as in the ouster of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, a top White House aide got fired only after the allegations made it into the media.

Even after Kelly changed his stance, calling the allegations vile and orchestrating Porter's swift departure, the president has stuck up for Porter publicly, telling reporters that the situation had been "tough" and "sad" for Porter. Ryan's comments and word of the House probe followed a day after the Federal Bureau of Investigation contradicted the White House over the Porter accusations. White House officials also emphasized the same day that Porter had not been asked to resign, and Sanders invited a select group of reporters to meet with Porter to hear his side of the story, according to a report in Politico.

"As I know Raj addressed last week, we let the process play out", she told reporters.

"The president has confidence in his chief of staff", Sanders said.

The FBI says it gave the Trump administration information on multiple occasions a year ago about a top aide accused of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives, and the investigation wrapped up in January.

Wray did not disclose the contents of the FBI's inquiry.

Several senior officials, including chief of staff John Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn, were aware of the broad allegations against Porter for months, officials said. He isn't blaming the deep state for Porter's demise, he's not going after the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and he's not even attacking the Democrats.

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Wray said he was "quite confident" that established protocol was followed.

Former White House aide Rob Porter, right, was an influential figure in US President Donald Trump's administration.

"It's up to those same law enforcement and intelligence agencies to determine if changes need to be made to their process", Sanders said. Contrary to Gidley's suggestion, the White House was by no means blindsided by this matter.

The New York Times reports Hicks could herself face charges of obstruction of justice in Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

She said on Monday that "the White House had not received any specific papers regarding the completion" of Porter's background investigation.

Granting new employees an interim clearance is not unusual.

Porter, whose two ex-wives have accused him of physical and emotional abuse, was given an interim security clearance to work in the White House while the FBI was doing a background-check investigation.

At Tuesday's hearing, Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, declined to comment on Porter's case or those of other White House officials, including Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, who have temporary security clearances but still have access to classified information.

He added "but if that is the case the access has to be limited in terms of the kind of information they can be in a position to receive".

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