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House panel demands White House answers on ousted aide Porter

House panel demands White House answers on ousted aide Porter

It was as if the White House had leaped back in time to the first months of 2017, when finger pointing, anonymous leaks and guessing games about whether key aides were on their way out were near routine.

Rob Porter served as White House Staff Secretary and was accused by two of his former wives of domestic violence.

It never came. Instead, someone leaked photos of one of Porter's ex-wives, her eyes blackened, to the Daily Mail and The Intercept.

Asked whether his committee would begin looking into the timeline of physical abuse accusations against Porter, Gowdy responded, "We did last night".

Porter resigned last week after multiple allegations of domestic abuse.

Several senior officials, including chief of staff John Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn, were aware of the broad allegations against Porter for months, officials said.

"I can't get into the content of what was briefed to the White House", Wray told the Senate Intelligence Committee this week, when he was asked about the matter. Porter was awarded temporary security clearance and continued to work for the White House. "But it's all or nothing, and when it comes to this president, it's all bashing or nothing". But the next morning, on February 7, he told White House aides he wanted to leave on his own terms and help with the transition. They have said the career government employees at the White House personnel security office who processed the clearances did not tell them about the allegations uncovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "The president and chief of staff have full confidence in his abilities and his performance". Wray said additional information was presented to the White House in November before Porter's file was closed in January.

"No", Kelly said. "It was all done right".

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"I think the White House could have handled this better and I still feel that way", Pence said. There is a short list now moving towards the top is Gary Cohn, the president's chief economic adviser.

Donald Trump had previously sent out a tweet that some read as defending Rob Porter. He said both he and President Trump have "great confidence in this good man". "But it was very sad when we heard about it".

Trump still did not mention the women or whether he believes their stories specifically regarding Porter.

He also noted that Porter has maintained his innocence.

Porter has denied the claims.

Even Vice President Pence criticized the White House's handling of the scandal Wednesday.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her deputy, Raj Shah, also do not have permanent security clearances, but had been operating on interim clearances.