Press Corps Absolutely Roasts Raj Shah Over John Kelly’s Flip Flop on Staffer Accused of Abuse


After delaying the start of today’s White House press briefing for what seemed like forever, White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah — who was covering for Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders — was hammered by reporters right away over the resignation of White House senior aide Rob Porter and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s flip-flops on the disgraced staffer.

After reading off a statement about Porter’s resignation and the allegations of spousal abuse made against him, Shah was pressed on when the White House first became aware of the accusations. Referencing reports that Kelly had known for months, Shah claimed that the chief of staff was only made fully aware yesterday. Asked again if Kelly was “partially aware” before, Shah responded that they all “became aware of the news reports that emerged Wednesday morning and some of the graphic images” while adding that he wasn’t going to get into specifics.

NBC News’ Peter Alexander then took a swing at Shah, pointing out that Kelly’s statement on Porter had changed between Tuesday and Wednesday.

“He said based on new allegations — but what changed yesterday absent a photograph in terms of new allegations?” Alexander asked.

“Well, I think what I just referenced, the reports had additional allegations,” Shah stated. “They had more information.”

“So, you’re saying the initial reports were two former wives accused him of violence, both physical and verbal abuse, was not sufficient for him to say he was not a man of honor?” the NBC reporter shot back.

“There were a number of statements from the press secretary, from the chief of staff and others that reflected the Rob Porter that we’ve come to know working here for over a year,” Shah answered. “And the chief of staff for about the last six months. But the reports are troubling. And I think the statement from Wednesday night reflects the Rob Porter that we had seen in these news reports and some of these credible allegations.”

And so it went for a few minutes longer, as more reporters continued to absolutely grill the deputy press secretary who had been tossed in front of the wolves on one of the worst news days for this particular administration.

Watch the clip above, via Fox News.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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