Senators demand answers from White House chief of staff, counsel on Rob Porter

Democrats are demanding answers from the White House chief of staff and counsel about former aide Rob Porter, who res...

Posted: Feb 11, 2018 8:03 PM
Updated: Feb 11, 2018 8:03 PM

Democrats are demanding answers from the White House chief of staff and counsel about former aide Rob Porter, who resigned Wednesday amid allegations of domestic abuse.

A group of twelve Democratic senators sent a letter Friday to chief of staff John Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn asking when they first knew of the domestic abuse allegations against Porter by his ex-wives.

"We recognize that you and the President have tremendous discretion in deciding whom to hire to work in the White House," the letter read. "However, we are troubled by published accounts suggesting that you decided to hire Mr. Porter despite the fact he could not get a security clearance and that you were aware of the specific domestic violence allegations made against him."

The senators also question whether Porter, who served as Trump's staff secretary, disclosed the allegations on his applications for a security clearance or White House employment. They said they wanted to know if Porter was ever denied a security clearance and if he handled classified information with an interim security clearance.

The allegations of domestic abuse against Porter first came to light Tuesday.

Porter's two ex-wives claimed in an interview with CNN's MJ Lee that they experienced years of abuse from Porter, including incidents of physical violence, and said they detailed the allegations to the FBI as the agency conducted a routine background check into Porter. Porter denied the allegations as "outrageous" and "simply false."

CNN reported Wednesday that Kelly was aware in the fall of last year that Porter was having trouble obtaining his security clearance and that his ex-wives claimed he had abused them. Sources told CNN that Porter first told McGahn in January 2017 that his ex-wives may present potentially damaging information during the FBI background check.

But no action was taken to remove Porter from the staff, and instead, Kelly and others oversaw an elevation in Porter's standing; for example, he was one of a handful of aides who helped draft last week's State of the Union address.

The White House declined to comment Wednesday when asked about Kelly's knowledge of the allegations against Porter. In a statement released Wednesday evening, Kelly said he was "shocked" by the "new allegations" against Porter.

White House spokesman Raj Shah said Thursday that the White House "could have done better" over the last few days in "dealing with" the domestic violence allegations against Porter. Shah also repeatedly declined to get into specifics about how much the White House knew last year about the allegations against Porter.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment on the letter.

The twelve senators who signed the letter to Kelly and McGahn include: Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Tom Udall of New Mexico, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Ron Wyden of Oregon.

Huntsville
Few Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 79°
Florence
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 80°
Fayetteville
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 75°
Decatur
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 79°
Scottsboro
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 79°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
Chambers35325
Walker3442
Elmore3398
Madison3274
Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
Coffee2291
Sumter2206
Autauga2164
Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
Crenshaw763
Macon754
Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
Escambia573
Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 22566

Reported Deaths: 364
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Davidson504062
Shelby4943111
Trousdale13924
Rutherford119623
Sumner88145
Hamilton79415
Bledsoe6071
Williamson55210
Putnam4795
Robertson4653
Tipton4423
Out of TN4184
Lake4140
Wilson4078
Knox3755
Bedford2834
Montgomery2693
Rhea2100
Hardeman1960
Madison1752
Loudon1430
McMinn14114
Macon1363
Cheatham1230
Bradley1221
Fayette1152
Cumberland1121
Dickson1090
Unassigned920
Blount913
Maury890
Sevier812
Washington750
Coffee730
Wayne640
Gibson631
Monroe622
Sullivan602
Hickman580
Lauderdale561
Franklin531
Greene502
Dyer500
Marion401
Anderson401
DeKalb370
Hamblen362
Smith341
White330
Hawkins332
Lawrence310
Grundy311
Haywood312
Marshall311
Obion301
Henry300
Jefferson280
Carroll271
Overton260
Meigs260
Weakley260
Lincoln250
Warren230
Cannon210
Perry210
Cocke200
Carter191
Campbell181
Morgan170
Jackson170
Crockett162
Roane160
Polk160
Johnson160
Henderson150
Hardin152
Sequatchie150
Humphreys131
Fentress120
McNairy120
Chester120
Giles120
Scott120
Stewart110
Claiborne90
Houston80
Grainger80
Clay70
Benton71
Decatur50
Unicoi40
Union40
Van Buren40
Lewis30
Pickett30
Moore30
Hancock10

 

 

Community Events