•   
  •   
  •   

Politics Kelly's Handling of Ex-Trump Aide Scrutinized After FBI Account

19:10  14 february  2018
19:10  14 february  2018 Source:   bloomberg.com

Kelly offers account of Porter exit that some White House aides consider untrue

  Kelly offers account of Porter exit that some White House aides consider untrue Some staffers who attended a Friday meeting left feeling that Chief of Staff John Kelly had effectively asked them to lie on his behalf.During a staff meeting, Kelly told those in attendance to say that he took action to remove Porter within 40 minutes of learning that abuse allegations from two ex-wives were credible, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because discussions in such meetings are supposed to be confidential.

Feb.14 -- White House Chief of Staff John Kelly faces increasing scrutiny over his handling of domestic violence allegations against a former top aide to President Donald Trump after the FBI offered an account of events on Tuesday.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is under increasing scrutiny for his handling of domestic violence allegations against a former top presidential aide after the FBI offered an account of events on Tuesday that conflicted with his narrative.

a man wearing a suit and tie: John Kelly © Bloomberg John Kelly

(Bloomberg) -- White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is under increasing scrutiny for his handling of domestic violence allegations against a former top presidential aide after the FBI offered an account of events on Tuesday that conflicted with his narrative.

FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers Tuesday that the bureau provided the White House the results of a background investigation of former Staff Secretary Rob Porter as early as July. The report included abuse allegations by Porter’s two ex-wives, a person familiar with the matter said.

“How in the hell was he still employed?” House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy told CNN Wednesday morning. The Republican lawmaker said the committee launched a probe Tuesday night and that he wants to know “who knew what, when, and to what extent.”

Trump, angry at Chief of Staff Kelly, muses about possible replacements

  Trump, angry at Chief of Staff Kelly, muses about possible replacements President Donald Trump, frustrated by his staff's handling of the abuse allegations against Rob Porter, is increasingly venting about Chief of Staff John Kelly, sources say.One senior administration official and three other people briefed on those conversations told NBC News Trump is angry at Kelly's initial statement of effusive support about Porter's character — and then the quick walkback the next day. After allegations of physical and verbal abuse were made public by two of Porter's ex-wives in The Daily Mail, Kelly said in a statement: "Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor and I can't say enough good things about him.

(Bloomberg) -- White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is under increasing scrutiny for his handling of domestic violence allegations against a former top presidential aide after the FBI offered an account of events on Tuesday that conflicted with his narrative.

Feb.14 -- White House Chief of Staff John Kelly faces increasing scrutiny over his handling of domestic violence allegations against a former top aide to

The revelation by Wray is spurring fresh questions about Kelly’s knowledge of Porter’s history, including when he knew about the allegations and whether he informed President Donald Trump. The controversy is prompting some of Trump’s outside advisers and allies -- especially those with grudges against the former Marine general -- to push for replacing him as chief of staff, according to several people familiar with the matter.

There is intense debate within the White House about what steps to take next. Trump himself has recently floated potential Kelly replacements with advisers, according to two of the people.

Several White House officials, including some allied with Kelly, no longer believe he can survive the Porter episode. Some senior staff feel he asked them to lie on his behalf. Nothing had been decided or announced as of Wednesday morning, one senior White House official said. There’s disappointment in Kelly, according to the official, who described the chief of staff’s handling of Porter as amateurish.

Kelly indicated to Trump he was willing to resign: report

  Kelly indicated to Trump he was willing to resign: report Chief of staff John Kelly has reportedly indicated to President Trump that he is willing to resign amid the controversy surrounding his handling of the domestic abuse allegations against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter.Individuals close to Kelly and the president told ABC News that the chief of staff has "made it clear" over the past 24 hours that he would be willing to step down.The White House, however, said in statement provided to CNN that Kelly has not offered to step down."He has not offered to resign," spokesman Hogan Gidley said.ABC's report came hours after reports that Trump was considering options for replacing Kelly.

Kelly ’ s Handling of Ex - Trump Aide Scrutinized After FBI Account (BBG). GOP Split in Senate Primary Fights, Even Without Bannon (WSJ). For one U.S. immigrant family, short-term public aid meant long-term security (Reuters).

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly faces increasing scrutiny over his handling of domestic violence allegations against a former top aide to President Donald Trump after the FBI offered an account of events on Tuesday.

Trump and Kelly have shown mutual loyalty to each other, and one person familiar with the matter said the president is unlikely to act immediately to remove him. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at a briefing on Tuesday that Kelly retains the president’s confidence, and declined to comment for this story later in the day. An aide to Kelly also declined to comment.

Mulvaney, Cohn

Names mentioned as possibilities for Trump’s third of chief of staff include: White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, who is doing double duty as the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn; Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, the leader of the conservative Freedom Caucus; and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

White House advisers were agitating for their favorites on Tuesday. Anthony Scaramucci, who briefly served as Trump’s communications director, said on Twitter that Kelly should step down.

Priebus: Trump didn't complain to me about Kelly

  Priebus: Trump didn't complain to me about Kelly The former White House chief of staff denied a report this week that claimed President Trump phoned him to complain about his replacement.In an interview with Hugh Hewitt broadcast on Saturday, Priebus said the conversation, in which Trump reportedly complained to Priebus about Kelly's handling of domestic abuse allegations against a White House aide, never happened.

Kelly ' s Handling of Ex - Trump Aide Scrutinized After FBI AccountHOT TRENDING. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is under increasing scrutiny for his handling of domestic violence allegations against a former top presidential aide after the FBI offered an account

Kelly Scrutinized for Handling of Ex - Trump Aide After FBI Account . Lawyers have accused an aide to President Donald Trump of violating federal law through a tweet. According to NBC news, Don Scavino Jr., the white house

“Based on FBI testimony, WH Chief of Staff John Kelly almost certainly knew about credible allegations of domestic abuse against Rob Porter at least 6 months ago -- then recently forced others to lie about that timeline,” Scaramucci tweeted on Tuesday. “Inexcusable. Kelly must resign.”

It was Kelly, in his first day as chief of staff, who carried out Scaramucci’s dismissal last July.

Meadows said he’d had no conversations with the president about the job. Cohn didn’t respond to inquiries on Tuesday evening. A McCarthy aide didn’t respond to an inquiry. Mulvaney has said he is happy in his position.

The FBI revelations were an embarrassment for the White House, where Sanders was forced to revise the official account of when top officials learned of the allegations against Porter.

She said on Monday that “the White House had not received any specific papers regarding the completion” of Porter’s background investigation. On Tuesday, she said the FBI’s report had gone to the White House “personnel security office,” which she said was staffed by civil servants rather than political appointees.

White House: Trump has 'absolute confidence' in John Kelly

  White House: Trump has 'absolute confidence' in John Kelly President Donald Trump still stands by chief of staff John Kelly after his handling of abuse allegations against a former aide, White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short said Sunday. "He has absolute confidence in Gen. Kelly" Short said on "Meet The Press.""Gen. Kelly, in my mind, is an American hero," Short said, adding that Kelly also did not offer his resignation following criticism of his handling over the departure of White House staff secretary Rob Porter.Porter left the White House last week after news reports that two of his ex-wives accused him of being physically abusive.

Senior White House aide Rob Porter has resigned after his ex -wives told The Intercept that A State Department official is scouring staffers' social media accounts for signs of disloyalty to Trump . State Department staffers are growing wary as their dedication to President Trump ' s agenda is scrutinized .

Senior Trump Aide and Rumored Hope Hicks BF Resigns After Both Ex Wives Accuse Him of Abuse. Holderness, a senior analyst for the U. S . government, said that she and Willoughby were interviewed by the FBI when Porter was vetted for security clearance for his White House job.

She said that as far as she knew, that office hadn’t alerted any of the president’s West Wing staff, and six months after receiving the FBI report the office still hadn’t finished “a final recommendation for adjudication” of Porter’s security clearance before he resigned last week.

She also distanced herself from Kelly’s claim that he had acted to remove Porter from his job within 40 minutes of learning of the allegations from reports published Tuesday. Asked whether the White House still maintained Kelly didn’t previously know of the allegations, she responded, “I can only give you the best information that I have, and that’s my understanding.”

She didn’t answer when asked if she personally felt misled.

The FBI investigated Porter as part of his application for a top-level security clearance for his job, which entailed handling some of the nation’s most sensitive documents.

Wray made a terse reference at a hearing on Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, noting that the bureau submitted a final report in late July on Porter after having provided the White House with preliminary findings in March. He didn’t discuss the contents of the reports.

“I’m quite confident that in this particular incident the FBI followed the appropriate protocol,” Wray said.

Conversations over possible John Kelly successor heat up

  Conversations over possible John Kelly successor heat up There has been no decision by President Donald Trump to replace embattled White House chief of staff John Kelly, but multiple sources say conversations over who could succeed him have heated up. CNN had reported the President has been calling associates in recent days and discussing possibilities.While no decision has been made, the scrutiny increased after Tuesday's testimony by FBI Director Christopher Wray.One source said Tuesday that the big problem was Kelly was overwhelmed and didn't initially deal with the fallout over allegations of spousal abuse by former White House staff secretary Rob Porter's ex-wives.

The head of the FBI said his agency first flagged issues with its background check of Rob Porter to the Trump administration in March, a timeline that conflicts with what the White House said it knew about the former aide ’ s past. Christopher Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation , told the

Inquiry comes after FBI director contradicts Trump administration accounts of security background check for ex - aide . The House Oversight Committee on Wednesday asked Chief of Staff John Kelly and FBI Director Christopher Wray to answer questions about the White House’ s security clearance

Security Office

White House officials have struggled to explain who knew about the allegations against Porter, when they knew, and what, if anything, was done about it. The personnel security office, which makes recommendations about security clearances, is overseen by Joe Hagin, Trump’s deputy chief of staff for operations, a person familiar with the matter said.

Hagin has not responded to inquiries this week.

In past administrations, the White House counsel’s office has also been involved in vetting potential employees. Decisions on security clearances for White House staff are ultimately up to the White House under the president’s authority.

The New York Times reported that White House counsel Don McGahn was made aware last June that an issue had arisen in Porter’s background investigation, but White House officials disputed that account to the newspaper. Kelly told CNBC that he was told in November that there were issues in some background investigations, but that he hadn’t been told the details of the Porter allegations.

‘40 Minutes’

Kelly said again in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday that Porter decided to resign “40 minutes” after Kelly learned of the full extent of the allegations on Feb. 6.

But that narrative was contradicted by a White House statement saying Porter had resigned on Feb. 7. White House officials also emphasized the same day that Porter had not been asked to resign, and Sanders invited a select group of reporters to meet with Porter to hear his side of the story, according to a report in Politico.

Pence: White House could have better handled Porter situation

  Pence: White House could have better handled Porter situation Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday said the White House could have done a better job handling the Rob Porter domestic-abuse allegations. Pence said that the Trump administration has "no tolerance for domestic violence," but added that "the White House could have handled this better."The vice president's remarks come as the saga surrounding Porter shows no signs of ending, and after House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) announced his panel would begin an investigation.

After the FBI completed Porter’s background check last July, the bureau received a follow-up inquiry and provided additional information to the White House in November, Wray said, without providing details. The FBI administratively closed the file last month, but has since received additional information, which it passed along to the White House, Wray added.

Kushner Question

The episode is likely to focus renewed attention on other members of the White House without permanent security clearances.

At the hearing with Wray on Tuesday, senators asked about the security clearance status of Trump aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and whether White House officials who have not received a full security clearance should have access to classified material.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who testified at the same Tuesday, said people with interim clearances should have limited access to classified information.

Coats and Wray declined to comment specifically about Porter and Kushner.

--With assistance from Steven T. Dennis Margaret Talev Jennifer Jacobs Billy House and Kevin Cirilli

To contact the reporters on this story: Jennifer Jacobs in Washington at [email protected], Chris Strohm in Washington at [email protected], Justin Sink in Washington at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at [email protected], Kevin Whitelaw at [email protected], Mike Dorning, Larry Liebert

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

Axios: Kelly, Secret Service agent scuffled with Chinese officials over nuclear 'football' .
White House chief of staff John Kelly and a Secret Service agent scuffled with Chinese security officials over the U.S. nuclear "football" during a trip to China in November, Axios reported Sunday. The nuclear football is the black briefcase containing the nuclear launch codes for the president. The aide carrying it is required to remain close to the president at all times.The interaction reportedly took place during President Turmp's trip to Beijing's Great Hall of the People. The aide carrying the briefcase was blocked from entering the hall, and another official quickly told Kelly, five sources told Axios.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!