January 22, 2019

Second Trump admin official resigns after allegations of domestic abuse

10 February 2018, 01:41 | Devin Moran

Kelly is under scrutiny for his handling of the Rob Porter scandal and Trump is reportedly asking aides about Mulvaney becoming chief

With John Kelly under fire Mick Mulvaney reportedly emerges as possible next Trump chief of staff

Ten Democratic senators have written a letter to White House chief of staff John Kelly and counsel Don McGahn asking for more information about disgraced Trump aide Rob Porter, The Hill reported.

Porter - who denies abuse alleged by two ex-wives, one of whom released a photo of herself with a black eye - worked at the heart of the White House throughout the first year of Trump's administration, despite being denied full security clearance. That he remained onboard for more than a year is surprising to all but the White House staff, who, given their cumulative inexperience, may not have realized that people usually are denied employment in far less significant jobs if they can't pass security checks.

Rob Porter, the former White House staff secretary, resigned on Wednesday after news outlets published his ex-wives' allegations.

Not by his two ex-wives, one of whom had sought a restraining order against Porter during their marriage.

In particular, sources say, Trump has mused about how very bad media coverage has been lately on Porter and the White House, and "how terrible" it appeared that the administration had-in a jarringly uncharacteristic move from Trump-world-copped to an error in its handling of the matter... He said the Trump White House, in particular, might be going through the clearance process slowly because those working there have not previously been in government and their extensive foreign and business ties take additional time to explore.

Trump, who has himself been accused of sexual harassment or assault by two dozen women, fuelled the scandal by praising Porter and suggesting he had a bright future. "He says he's innocent, ..." Instead of a house of cards, Trump put together a house of predators, and one by one those predators are being exposed and removed from the White House.

White House spokesman Raj Shah defended the administration's handling of the matter, saying it was following proper procedure in letting the investigation proceed. "We certainly wish him well". Another story line in the Daily Mail involves a former girlfriend warning the White House of allegations against Porter. He has denied the allegations and says he is the victim of a smear campaign. Trump complained to aides that the chief of staff had portrayed him as a child who had to be managed, a contention that particularly irked the president in the wake of the way he was portrayed in the recent Michael Wolff book, "Fire and Fury". According to a source, Hicks did not get a sign off from Trump for the White House's initial statement defending Porter, in which Kelly was quoted calling Porter a "man of true integrity".

Porter, who was arguably White House chief of staff John Kelly's closest aide, cleaned out his desk on Thursday. But what possible reason could there be to keep someone inside the classified world of the White House under such circumstances?

On top of all of that, there's a third woman who's been whispering to the White House about her experiences with Porter.

The New York Times also reported that Kelly told West Wing officials that he was willing to resign.

"I$3 f he hasn't already been abusive with Hope", she added, "he will".

"I found out about it recently and I was surprised by it", the president said.

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