White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah opened today’s presser by discussing ex-staff secretary Rob Porter’s alleged record of domestic violence, claiming the administration and chief of staff John Kelly were unaware of the “full nature” of the accusations.
While officials reportedly knew that Porter was not able to receive his full security clearance while in the White House due to a protective order against him, Shah defended the administration by saying they had not yet come to an investigative conclusion regarding the staffer.
“His background investigation was ongoing. His clearance was never denied, and he resigned,” Shah said — later adding the White House trusted “the background check process” in regards to Porter.
He went on to call the allegations made by two of Porter’s ex-wives “serious and disturbing” and added that President Donald Trump was upset by them as well.
When asked about the claims yesterday, Kelly initially responded by vigorously defending Porter’s record — calling him “a man of true integrity and honor” who he was “proud to serve alongside him.” The chief of staff has since reversed his opinion on the matter, issuing a follow-up statement today saying “there is no place for domestic violence.”
While Shah took heat from the White House press corp over the matter, he still guarded Kelly’s record and said he was not aware of the “full nature” of the abuse — even though graphic pictures of Porter’s ex-wives had already surfaced by the time the chief of staff made his first statement yesterday.
Watch above, via CNN.
[images via screengrab]
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