The speculation that President Donald Trump wants to replace Chief of Staff John Kelly because of his handling of the domestic abuse allegations against his aide have been dismissed by the White House advisers on Sunday.
Senior adviser Kellyanne Conway made it clear that Trump supports Kelly, who has taken all the fire since the allegations against White House staff secretary Rob Porter got published.
Porter resigned after his two former wives said he abused them both mentally and physically. The whole scandal raised a lot of questions about how long it took Trump’s team to act on the accusations, as well as the security clearances Porter had.
“He has full confidence in his current chief of staff, General John Kelly and he’s not actively searching for replacements,” Conway said.
According to Reuters, two days after Porter stepped down, White House speechwriter David Sorensen also resigned amid his ex-wife’s allegations of domestic violence. Both men have denied the accusations.
Last few months have seen series of allegations being made by women on the count of sexual harassment or abuse done by powerful men in entertainment, business and politics.
Source familiar with the matter told Reuters that Kelly offered to resign because he was not happy with how he handled Porter’s case.
However, Trump’s legislative liaison Marc Short denied that Kelly had offered to resign and said he was doing an outstanding job.
Reuters also reported that budget director Mick Mulvaney blamed rumors of a Kelly ouster on people disgruntled because they lost access to the Republican president, after Kelly became chief of staff in July during a White House shakeup.
“I think that talk about the chief’s departure is much ado about nothing,” Mulvaney said on Sunday.
“For the president and the chief of staff to give that person the benefit of the doubt is probably a very normal and human reaction,” he said.
Meanwhile, Short also acknowledged that there may have been a “lack of communication between different elements in the White House.”