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10 February 2018, 06:45 | Damon Campbell
Rob Porter gives Donald Trump a document as former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus looks on.
| Jonathan Ernst Reuters
The White House is embroiled in an explosive domestic scandal, with critics demanding to know how a top aide accused of domestic abuse could work there for a year despite failing to qualify for a security clearance.
The president was also frustrated with Hope Hicks, the White House communications director who has been in a relationship with staff secretaryRob Porter, who resigned this week following published reports that he abused his two ex-wives.
Shah, 32, made his debut address on Thursday following the resignation of staff secretary Rob Porter over domestic abuse allegations.
On Thursday night, a White House official released a letter that Kelly had written to White House employees seeking to allay their concerns over the accusations against Porter. He was bombarded by questions on the White House advisor's sudden exit, the USA media reported.
Despite all of this, the White House's first reaction this week to news of the spousal abuse allegations against Porter was to effusively praise and defend him.
Raj Shah, the Principal Deputy Press Secretary of US President Donald Trump, has made his daily press briefing debut at the White House, becoming the first Indian-American to do so. It also raises the question of who else in the White House knew, including the president himself. Another spoke of emotional abuse and of Porter grabbing her and pulling her from the shower.
"I think it's fair to say that we all could have done better over the last few hours - or last few days - in dealing with this situation", Shah said.
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Publicly, Porter cast the allegations as part of a "coordinated smear campaign" in a statement Wednesday.
"I can tell you that Rob has been effective in his role as staff secretary, and the president and chief of staff have had full confidence and trust in his abilities and his performance", she told reporters.
Kelly tried to push his own timeline in brief comments to The Associated Press and several other news outlets, repeating a narrative he had presented Friday at a senior staff meeting that contradicts accounts provided by multiple White House officials. She told Cooper that Kelly may well have believed Porter's downplayed version of events-an indication of Porter's manipulative tendencies, and Kelly's remarkable reluctance to investigate whether one of his close confidantes was actually an abuser of women.
Willoughby said she, like Holderness, met with the Federal Bureau of Investigation before her husband took the job previous year and told them all the things that she has since discussed publicly. White House officials declined to go into more detail about how much Kelly knew about them and when he had first been informed.
In a second incident, she said, Porter punched a hole in the front door, prompting her to call police and get a temporary restraining order. "Your ability to explain that he was not just some awful person and you were not just a victim, was very accurate and left me in tears".
In January 2017, when McGahn learned of the allegations, he wanted Porter to stay put because he saw the Harvard Law-trained Capitol Hill veteran as a steadying, professional voice in the White House, according to people familiar with the matter.
"He started calling me names, calling me a "f-ing bitch, ' how I behaved was 'f-ing ridiculous" and most of that was instigated around my not having sex with him often enough on our honeymoon", Willoughby said. She also said his departure from the White House was not imminent. "I told him I'm going to tell them the truth", she said. He also said Porter had been "terminated", before later clarifying that he had resigned.
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