White House 'could have done better' handling Rob Porter allegations, spokesman says


Jennifer Willoughby, one of the two women who leveled accusations of domestic and emotional abuse against the former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, says she lived in a state of "low-grade, constant terror" with him.

Shah said his last day was Thursday and that he cleaned out his desk Thursday morning. Kelly also said he stood by his previous comments praising Porter and that "every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation".

"Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor and I can't say enough good things about him".

Mr Kelly is now facing questions about when he knew about the allegations against Mr Porter, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation learned during interviews with Mr Porter's ex-wives for a background check.

But Wednesday evening, Kelly issued a new statement.

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The White House had backed Porter until a photo showing Holderness with a black eye was published.

The Daily Mail reported earlier this week that Porter and Hicks had been dating in an explosive report detailing Porter's ex-wives allegations of abuse by him.

Shah said that while the allegations are "serious and troubling", the administration had been allowing a background check process to play out and that Kelly had not been "fully aware" of the allegations against Porter until Wednesday.

Porter, who stepped down on Thursday, vehemently denied the allegations and called it a "coordinated smear campaign".

Evidence of Porter's violence was corroborated by a friend of Willoughby's, Kathryn Hughes: "She told me that he had been screaming at her while she was in the shower and yanked her out and bruised her. [.] She also told me he was verbally abusive, and I witnessed some of that".

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"We were arguing and he punched me in the face", Porter's first ex-wife, Colbie Holderness, told The Daily Mail. This is contrary to the initial White House position that Porter was sticking around for awhile to ensure a smooth transition to his successor.

"I have no vendetta against Rob Porter", Willoughby said.

Meanwhile, Democratic senators wrote that they are "concerned over the apparent low and inconsistent threshold the Trump White House uses for obtaining an interim security clearance".

"It's important to remember that Rob Porter has repeatedly denied these allegations, and done so publicly".

Willoughby took out a temporary protective order in 2010, which according to the Post said that "reasonable grounds exist to believe that [Porter] has committed family abuse and there is probable danger of a further such offense". President Donald Trump warned investors Wednesday that selling amid a strong economy was a "mistake".

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She was married to Mr Porter from 2009-13. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah.) But a source familiar with the matter told HuffPost that he did not have one when he briefly worked with the office of Sen.