Long before the news of now-former White House staff secretary Rob Porter’s domestic abuse history was made public, White House counsel Don McGahn and Chief of Staff John Kelly knew.
The Washington Post reports that McGahn knew about allegations from Porter’s two ex-wives of physical and emotional abuse at least a year ago, while Kelly knew as early as last fall and gave Porter a bigger role in controlling the flow of info to President Trump.
The reports are that McGahn knew about Porter’s abusive past for a year (since January 2017), but chose to sit on that knowledge.
In June 2017 the FBI gave some of their findings to McGahn and Kelly. By the fall of the year, both knew that Porter’s security clearances were being held up because of the domestic violence claims.
McGahn personally received a call from one of Porter’s former girlfriends in November who told him to investigate the allegations made by Porter’s ex-wives, according to the newspaper. McGahn notified other personnel in the Trump administration, but failed to take any further action on the claims.
Porter finally stepped down on Wednesday, a day after the allegations, along with pictures of his first wife’s bruised and swollen face became public.
Kelly is catching heat now for his initial statement of support for Porter.
Some reports now are that White House communications director Hope Hicks crafted the initial White House response.
Hicks and Porter are dating now, according to sources (and those pics of the two making out in the back of a cab), so it’s going to take Porter doing to her what he did to two wives and at least one girlfriend before she gets the message.
Again, somebody go check on Hope Hicks. This is the second hateful, obnoxious member of the Trump team she’s been romantically linked to.
Porter’s second wife, Jennie Willoughby appeared on CNN on Thursday evening with Anderson Cooper, and predicted that if Porter has not abused Hicks yet, he will, as he has done nothing to resolve his anger issues.
Kelly was forced to issue a second statement on Wednesday evening, in light of the growing controversy:
“I was shocked by the new allegations released today against Rob Porter. There is no place for domestic violence in our society,” Kelly said.
“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,” he continued. “I accepted his resignation earlier today, and will ensure a swift and orderly transition.”
None of this is making Kelly seem better. In fact, in this age of #MeToo and hyper-critical feminism that can easily be overplayed, it absolutely gives ammunition to activists that want to point out how the “boys club” circles the wagons and gives status and shelter to victimizers of women.
It’s not a good look.