Sources: Kelly urged Porter to stay despite abuse pics

By Josh Dawsey and Beth Reinhard | Washington Post

WASHINGTON – White House Counsel Donald McGahn knew one year ago that staff secretary Rob Porter’s ex-wives had accused him of domestic violence but allowed him to serve as an influential gatekeeper and aide to President Donald Trump, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Chief of Staff John Kelly learned this fall about the allegations of spousal abuse and that they were delaying Porter’s security clearance amid an ongoing FBI investigation. But Kelly handed Porter more responsibilities to control the flow of information to the president.

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Porter, who denied the “vile” allegations, resigned Wednesday after the ex-wives’ accounts of years of verbal and physical abuse were published, along with graphic pictures of Colbie Holderness, his first wife, bruised from what she said was a punch to the face.

The episode has thrust Trump’s senior-most aides, many of whom have already been embroiled in controversy related to special counsel Robert Mueller III’s Russia investigation, into yet another crisis.

McGahn and other West Wing officials are under increasing pressure to explain why Porter was kept in a key role in which he had access to classified information and helped determine which articles and policy proposals made it to the president’s desk while top Trump officials were aware for months of at least some of the serious allegations against him.

On Thursday, White House spokesman Raj Shah said the White House was allowing the issue to play out through the security-clearance review process, arguing that it was the appropriate place for the allegations and Porter’s denials to be assessed.

“We should not short-circuit an investigation just because allegations are made, unless they could …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

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