Kelly Says ‘All Done Right’ in Handling of Porter Scandal

Chief of Staff John Kelly defended Tuesday his handling of the most recent physical abuse scandal involving former White House staff secretary Rob Porter.

Kelly told The Wall Street Journal that “It was all done right,” even though the Journal reported that the timeline the FBI provided on Tuesday contradicted that of the West Wing.

The agency’s director Christopher Wray said the complete background check was provided in July, while the White House claimed it was still ongoing, using it to justify the decision to keep Porter as part of the administration, despite accusations from two former wives that he had been physically abusive. He served with a temporary security clearance for more than a year, which is unusual for a senior aide.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders explained that the personnel security office of the White House “had not finished their process and therefore not made a recommendation to the White House,” even though “the FBI portion was closed.”

The handling of Porter’s dismissal has rocked the White House for a week, while Kelly has come under intense pressure for his handling of the matter and initial statement of support for Porter, CNN writes. He had vouched for Porter and said, “I can’t say enough good things about him.”

When asked whether the scandal should have been handled differently, Kely said “no.” However, when a picture appeared showing one of Porter’s ex-wives with a bruised eye which came from his abuse, Kelly said he was “shocked by the new allegations.”

For his part, President Donald Trump addressed the issue on Friday saying Porter had “very strongly” said he was innocent and failing to show sympathy for the victims.

Both Democrats and Republicans have expressed disbelief and outrage over the White House’s handling of the allegations.

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