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09 February 2018, 05:16 | Damon Campbell
Hope Hicks and Rob Porter Getty Images
"I think it's fair to say that we all could have done better over the last few days in dealing with this situation", Raj Shah, a deputy press secretary, said.
The White House declined Wednesday to comment about Kelly's prior knowledge of the allegations against Porter. I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that I have come to know since becoming Chief of Staff, and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation.
"We were relying on the information we had", Shah said.
Shah said that while the allegations are "serious and troubling", the administration had been allowing a background check process to play out and that Kelly had not been "fully aware" of the allegations against Porter until Wednesday. "I took the photos given to the media almost 15 years ago and the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described". Porter's first wife, Colbie Holderness, provided media outlets with a photo of a black eye she said was the result of Porter punching her in the face during a trip to Florence, Italy in 2005.
Porter, a Rhodes scholar and Harvard-educated lawyer, served as the staff secretary in Trump's White House. "Porter has repeatedly denied these allegations and done so publicly".
But in a new statement on Wednesday, Hatch said he was "heartbroken" by the allegations against Porter, who he said had been a beloved staff member and trusted adviser.
The Family Leader, headed by a major player in evangelical politics, Bob Vander Plaats, says its mission is to "strengthen families, by inspiring Christ-like leadership in the home, the church, and the government". Trump vigorously defendedRoy Moore, the failed Alabama Republican Senate candidate, against allegations that included child molestation, and Sanders has said that multiple women who have accused the president of sexual misconduct were lying.
According to United States media reports, Mr Porter has recently been romantically linked with White House communications director Hope Hicks.
A reporter followed up by asking the vice president if he could explain why he "often seem [ed] a little bit out of the loop on some of this major news", indirectly referencing several instances, including Pence's claim a year ago that he had made false statements to the press about former national security adviser Mike Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation because other officials had misinformed him. She filed a protective order against him.
She had been the director of communications for the White House's Office of Public Liaison. The notion that they are there to protect women - "sacred" women, as Kelly once said - is risible. But he held only a temporary security clearance at the White House. The Intercept said both of his ex-wives had been interviewed by the FBI as part of a background investigation when Porter was hired at the White House.
An acting staff secretary will be named soon, he said.
"The country needs more honest, principled people like Rob Porter, which is why I hope that this cynical campaign to discredit his character ultimately fails".
Kelly assigned Porter to help bring more discipline to the West Wing by ensuring that no staff memos, policy documents, correspondence or news articles reached Trump's desk without careful inspection.
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