WH's John Kelly defends himself against Porter scandal

Glen Norman
March 4, 2018

Kelly said during the briefing that he released those statements based on his personal interactions with Porter in the White House and blamed a mix up over the timing of when Porter would be leaving his post.

Kelly said he first heard "a serious accusation" about Porter early on February 6, and that it involved "some level of emotional abuse", not a physical attack. "One of you asked Sarah (Sanders), so that's how I found out".

"It came to my notice that the kind of things I was used to" in previous jobs, including at the Defense Department, Mr. Kelly said, were not "up to the standards I'd been used to". "He said it's absolutely untrue". "I talked to Rob again to make sure he knew he had resigned".

"Let's see what he says about that", Mr Scaramucci said. The announcement temporarily halted conversations about gun reforms, which have been a focus in the White House since the Parkland shooting.

At 9:31 p.m. that night, Kelly announced that Porter was out. But he was vague about the allegations against Porter.


"There was no story out yet", Kelly said.

Once he heard the real story, he promptly accepted Porter's resignation. Porter has denied the abuse allegations.

"He didn't feel Rob should resign until he was accused of physical abuse. It was a choice he made". "He conducted himself as the ultimate gentleman".

"I put out a statement of support for him, and an hour later find out now there's a second report still not in the press, still no pictures". Especially under the Trump administration's aggressive immigration agenda, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol have faced special criticism from advocates, who say they are overstepping their bounds in cracking down on undocumented immigrants. Kelly was forced to issue a subsequent statement condemning domestic violence.

When pressed about the discrepancies on Friday, and whether he would step down over the controversy, Kelly stated, "I have absolutely nothing to even consider resigning over". "My assumption was he was doing the checkout process".


Then On Feb 8, Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told reporters this: "His last day was yesterday".

According to two White House officials, Kelly was made aware by White House counsel Don McGahn last fall of at least broad outlines of the issues with Porter's clearance. "The next day, probably around 10 or 11 o'clock, somebody said Rob's still in the building", he explained. "Sorry John. Not happening", he said in his first tweet. He chalked that up to the fact that most of the White House staffers have never worked in government before.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders continued to defend Porter into the following day and initially said Porter did not resign until February 7, something Kelly called a "mixup".

Scaramucci also referred to Kelly as "General Jackass". "#MeToo is as much about those who protect the abusers with their silence as the abusers themselves".


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