John Kelly Confirms that he knew about Accusations facing Rob Porter

John Kelly jokes he didn't want to leave Homeland Security, but 'God punished me'

"We didn't cover ourselves in glory in terms of how we handled that", Kelly told reporters, although he denied earlier reports that he had offered Trump his resignation.

Speaking with reporters in an impromptu meeting on Friday, Kelly claimed that the "first [he'd] heard of a serious accusation against [Porter]" was on February 6, when reporters from the Daily Mail reached out to ask him about allegations of abuse by one of his ex-wives. "That's the good thing about being chief of staff in a White House that is in such disarray, historically, that you can just wait for the next storm to come on".

On Feb. 7, the White House announced then-Staff Secretary Rob Porter had resigned after the allegations, including an image of his first wife with a black eye she says he gave her in the early 2000s.

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. "Another press inquiry that a second wife had made accusations and included physical abuse", he said. There has been speculation at times since Kelly's taken on the role that he would be fired or replaced, but told CNN during the event that things at the White House were "pretty good".

Kelly spoke at the White House with reporters after President Donald Trump traveled to Rev. Billy Graham's funeral.

Like Sanders did last month, Kelly on Friday blamed a little-known White House office composed of career staffers. Porter always portrayed himself as an ultimate gentleman to him and the entire White House.

Mr. Kelly said he was first told of "red flags" on Mr.

Mr. Kelly said that he had been the one to bring order to the process over security clearances at the White House when he arrived last summer. On Friday, Kelly doubled down on claims he did not know the extreme extent of the allegations. It also contradicts the White House's claims that the background check on Porter had not yet been completed at the time of his resignation. "I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that I have come to know since becoming Chief of Staff, and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation".

Kelly also noticed that many staff did not have final clearance and were working as Federal Bureau of Investigation background checks were ongoing.

Kelly said those first queries focused on an allegation of "emotional abuse" from one woman.

Kelly said in the February 7 statement that he stood by his previous defenses of Porter.

The chief of staff confirmed FBI Director Christopher Wray's testimony that the bureau provided information about Porter several months before the allegations became public. For instance, it was later confirmed that Colbie Holderness, who was his first wife had spoken with an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent where she provided the agent with some pictures that depicted her with a black eye.

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