House Republicans launch investigation into White House's handling of domestic abuse scandal

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Specifically, Gowdy told CNN's Alisyn Camerota that the committee is investigating the Rob Porter scandal, which the White House still can not seem to explain after a full week of changing stories. "And if they don't answer them, then they're going to need to give me a really good reason, and you'll learn that reason and you can judge whether or not it's a sufficient reason or not".

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) expressed his frustration with the White House's hiring of Rob Porter, the now-former Trump White House staff secretary accused of domestic abuse. Picture taken August 12, 2017.

In a letter sent Wednesday to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Gowdy said the panel is investigating the interim security clearance process and "the extent to which any security clearance issued to Porter comported with those policies and processes".

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Word of the probe comes a day after the Federal Bureau of Investigation publicly contradicted the White House over Porter, who has been accused of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives.

Conway said in an interview on CNN that she had no reason to doubt the women making allegations of abuse against Porter.

Any Republican speaking out against the Trump White House is surprising in itself, but Gowdy has announced he will not be seeking re-election.

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The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the committee had requested information about how Porter's employment and clearance were handled. But when asked if she was concerned for top White House aide Hope Hicks, who reportedly was dating Porter, Conway said no because "I've rarely met somebody so strong with such excellent instincts and loyalty and smarts".

Porter resigned last week as allegations from two ex-wives, and specifically a photo showing one ex-wife with a bruised face, emerged. "But they had not made a final recommendation for adjudication to the White House because the process was still ongoing when Rob Porter resigned".

"The chronology is not favorable from the White House", Gowdy said. Kelly does not enjoy the confidence of an increasing number of his subordinates, some of whom said they believe that the retired four-star Marine Corps general has misled them.

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Separately, Trump's intelligence chief called for top-to-bottom reform of the security clearance process, which allowed Porter to operate in his job for more than a year with only an interim clearance.

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