Tags: Trump Administration | white house | rob porter | background check | resignation | domestic violence

WH Had Not Finished Porter Background Probe When He Resigned


By    |   Tuesday, 13 February 2018 04:06 PM

The White House provided more clarification regarding the dismissal of Rob Porter on Tuesday, saying the in-house security office had not finished its review of Porter's background investigation when he left his West Wing job last week.

On the same day FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the FBI closed its security clearance investigation for Porter in November, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders faced another onslaught of questions on the matter that has dominated the headlines for six days. Porter was dismissed last week after it was alleged he was verbally and physically abusive toward his two ex-wives.

"The White House Personnel Security Office, staffed by career officials, received information last year in what they considered to be the final background investigation report [on Porter] in November," Sanders said. "They had not made a final recommendation for adjudication to the White House because the process was still ongoing when Rob Porter resigned."

Sanders explained when the FBI conducts a background investigation about a White House employee, the report is sent to the White House Personnel Security Office. Officials there review the report and either send it back to the bureau for further investigation, which in Porter's case occurred last summer, or process it and make a final recommendation to the West Wing.

Sanders said she did not "know the specifics" when asked why Porter's background investigation report was sent back to the FBI last summer. Until he left the White House last Wednesday, Porter was working with an interim security clearance as President Donald Trump's staff secretary.

But it was clear the FBI had finished its investigation and had sent its final report to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue several months ago.

What is not known is whether White House chief of staff John Kelly was aware of the domestic violence allegations leveled at Porter before news of them broke last week.

Sanders said she was not aware of Kelly being involved in sending Porter's report back to the FBI last July. And when asked to definitively say Kelly did not know about the allegations until last week, Sanders said, "That's my understanding."

It has been reported Kelly may have actually known about the domestic violence allegations before they were made public.

Some rumors suggest Kelly offered to resign after the Porter story blew up and Trump might be shopping for a new chief of staff. Newsmax's John Gizzi reported Monday morning, however, it is likely Kelly will weather the storm and keep his job.

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The White House said the in-house security office had not finished its review of Rob Porter's background investigation when he left his West Wing job last week.
white house, rob porter, background check, resignation, domestic violence
Tuesday, 13 February 2018 04:06 PM
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