Published: Sat, February 10, 2018

Former Trump aide had interim security clearance

Former Trump aide had interim security clearance

And in the Oval Office on Friday, President Trump expressed how he was "very sad" about the allegations.

"He says he's innocent and I think you have to remember that", said Trump.

But many people in key positions in the Trump administration come from more complex private sector backgrounds that may be slowing down the clearance process, Zaid said. And they came amid rampant White House finger-pointing about who knew what, and when, about the severity of the spousal abuse allegations. Following a series of delays, Porter reportedly asked his second wife, Jennifer Willoughby, whether she gave investigators details on their relationship. 'He did a very good job when he was in the White House and we hope he has a wonderful career'.

Trump's words arrive in contrast to John Kelly's memo to White House staff. "But when the staff draws scrutiny to him, he does not appreciate that", said one of the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"As you probably know, he says he's innocent", Trump told the press corps Friday, adding that he was "surprised" by the allegations.

Several weeks earlier, Kelly said in a Fox News interview that Trump was not "fully informed" about immigration issues when he promised in his 2016 campaign to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. "He's also very sad". He did not directly answer a question as to whether he believes the president's staff is serving him well, amid reports that Kelly knew about the allegations months before they were public.

However, Kelly later changed his tune when Holderness shared with the press graphic photos taken after her then-husband Porter "threw [her] down on the bed and punched [her] in the face" during a fight in 2005. At the time, he called Porter a "man of integrity and honor" and even said he was "proud to serve alongside him".

"I was appalled when I learned of the allegations against Rob Porter".

The matter of security clearances at the Trump White House has been a recurring issue and was again thrust into the spotlight when Porter on Wednesday resigned amid allegations that he verbally and physically abused his two ex-wives.

The emerging timeline illustrates the degree to which Porter, a clean-cut and ambitious former Rhodes scholar and Harvard-educated lawyer, concealed troublesome episodes from his past that would normally be considered disqualifying for a senior White House aide. The accusations raised against him reportedly contributed to the delay in granting him the security clearance typical for an official at his level.

The White House was also put on the defensive about Porter's interim security clearance, fielding questions about how someone could handle some of the nation's most sensitive documents while potentially being ripe for blackmail.

For many staffers, Kelly had brought a much-needed sense of order to a White House that had been riven with rivalries and was frequently upended by the whims of a mercurial president.

Both of Porter's ex-wives have detailed the nature of the abuse they said they suffered at Porter's hands and said they informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The FBI investigation into his security clearance was never closed, according to Shah.

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