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Trump 'saddened' by Porter allegations: White House

10 February 2018

"These outrageous allegations are simply false". The aide's application for a permanent clearance had been held up while the FBI investigated the abuse allegation.

Andrew Puzder, who Trump nominated to lead the Department of Labor, withdrew his nomination after both Republicans and Democrats rejected him, only in part, for some, on the basis of claims by Puzder's ex-wife that he attacked, choked and hit her. "And we hope he has a wonderful career".

On Thursday, Shah called the allegations "serious and disturbing". It is important for me to tell you-- you are not alone.

Shah said during a press briefing on Thursday that the White House mishandled the reports on the abuse allegations against Portman, stemming from his two ex-wives.

Chief of Staff John F. Kelly learned this fall about the allegations of spousal abuse and that they were delaying Porter's security clearance amid an ongoing FBI investigation. He had access to classified materials. Multiple White House staffers told Hatch himself that Lewandowski "was digging into Rob's previous marriages", recalled one source, who said Porter himself was among the officials who fingered Lewandowski.

Kelly's first statement on Porter complimented him without mentioning the allegations. Trump denies all the accusations and the White House's official position is that all the women who have accused Trump of misconduct are lying.

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That includes in November, when one of Porter's ex-girlfriends called McGahn to describe allegations of domestic abuse against him.

Before then, Porter was operating on an interim security clearance.

President Trump was not aware of Porter's security clearance status, Shah said, and didn't find out about the allegations against Porter until Tuesday evening. Fleischer said Trump's answer was clearly "heartfelt", though he did concede that Trump should have included an acknowledgment of the severity of domestic violence in general.

Cummings has requested that the House Oversight Committee obtain all paperwork Porter "was required to complete as a condition of White House employment", which includes "forms for internal White House vetting" and "the FBI's final investigative report on Robert Porter" by February 22. "The truth must be determined", Shah said.

Kelly's memo comes after Rob Porter announced plans to resign amid allegations that he verbally and physically abused his two ex-wives.

"The idea that he could be so different seems to escape people", said Willoughby about Porter's professional life. On Thursday, Shah said Hicks "did recuse herself from some matters" regarding Porter.

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But right now, Porter's story is key, and not because it's in any way unique for a Trump appointee to lose his or her job.

Much of the criticism is directed at Kelly, who has made equivocal statements in recent days about his former aide.

Kelly came under fire after initially defending Porter. It wouldn't be the last time Kelly downplayed assault accusations.

Deputy press secretary Raj Shah recently created history when he gaggled with reporters on board presidential chopper Air Force One, becoming the first Indian American to enjoy the privilege. He also played a vital role in helping Kelly try to bring order to the White House. His father, Roger Porter, was an economic adviser to President George H.W. Bush and now teaches at Harvard, where he's a top scholar on presidential decision-making.

"Political malpractice for John Kelly", Lewis declared.

Nadler added, "They don't really care about domestic violence. Otherwise, he's gone, too".

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Toni Van Pelt, head of the feminist group National Organization for Women, put it bluntly. "They imagine Keri Russell or Allison Williams someday playing Hicks in a movie about how she sabotaged Trump and saved the country".