Kelly Again Alters White House Description of Porter Departure
04 March 2018, 03:38 | Isaac Mcdaniel
Kelly told reporters at the White House on Friday that he "thought that statement was accurate of my relationship with Rob Porter" at the time.
"I have absolutely nothing to even consider resigning over", he said, insisting he didn't know details of the allegations against Porter until the day he was sacked.
After a Daily Mail report first broke that Porter has grabbed one of his ex-wives and swore at her, Kelly praised him as "a man of true integrity and honor" and "a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional".
Kelly, speaking to reporters, went into further detail than he has in the past about his role in the situation.
Around 4 p.m. on February 7, Sanders issued a statement saying Kelly and Trump had "full confidence" in Porter's ability and job performance.
Cooper opened tonight by saying, "Having heard so many misrepresentations and so many insultingly untrue or incomplete statements from the White House, we simply could not imagine they would even dream of bringing it up again".
Kelly said that he and White House counsel Don McGahn were not aware of the Federal Bureau of Investigation flags about Porter's security clearance until after.
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Kelly said that by the time Porter left the White House in February, his security clearance had not been fully adjudicated one way or another by the security office. Initially, many top aides rallied around Porter and Hope Hicks, the White House communications director who was dating Porter and helped draft the original statements defending him.
"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".
Last month, CBS Newsreported that White House counsel Don McGahn had told Kelly that there was an issue related to Porter's clearance a few months earlier, in November 2017.
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"I have absolutely nothing to even consider resigning over", he said.
"The accusation was late in the afternoon...one of you had asked [press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders]". Mr. Kelly said that he then accepted Mr. Porter might have seemed great to Kelly, but the allegations made by his ex-wives, which Porter has denied but offered no proof for that denial, are extremely serious.
Kelly also noticed that many staff did not have final clearance and were working as Federal Bureau of Investigation background checks were ongoing. Porter resigned. Days ago, Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and a senior adviser, was stripped of his top-secret security clearance after months of delays in completing his background check.
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