Published: Fri, February 09, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

White House Press Briefing With Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah

White House Press Briefing With Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah

Many of today's questions are likely to center around Rob Porter, the senior Trump administration aide who will resign at the end of the day due to multiple allegations of abuse and domestic violence.

In a statement that he has issued, Porter has claimed that the "reality behind them (the photos) is nowhere close to what is being described".

Porter adds that he has been transparent and truthful, but will leave the White House after a transition period.

Porter resigned on Wednesday after reports he physically and verbally abused his two ex-wives.

Porter's ex-wife, Jennifer Willoughby, told the DailyMail.com - the USA website of a United Kingdom tabloid - that he had difficulty controlling his anger and at one point pulled her out of the shower and yelled at her.

This week, Kelly defended Porter on Tuesday after DailyMail.com published a detailed account of abuse by Porter's second wife. Of the five people pictured in it, none are still formally associated with Trump or the White House. "There's just a very warping effect when you think you can't say things for career reasons, and that's very sad, but it's true".

"He is a friend, a confidant and a trusted professional", Kelly said.

He could not even get a full security clearance.

Asked whether the president was concerned about the allegations against Porter, Sanders said she had not spoken with the president about that and declined to comment further.

Trump hosted a dinner for dignitaries attending the National Prayer Breakfast on Wednesday night at the White House. "Background checks involve a complex investigation run by intelligence and law enforcement agencies".

"Remember, she's the longest-serving aide" Trump has with him in the White House, said Olivia Nuzzi, who profiled Hicks for GQ magazine in 2016. He also helped draft Trump's recent State of the Union address. Porter was denied a final security clearance, who at the White House was aware of this information, and how Mr. But he held only a temporary security clearance at the White House.

Shah, who began his maiden briefing two-and-three-quarter hours later than scheduled, insisted that Trump still has confidence in Kelly and his communications director, Hope Hicks, who had recused herself from "some matters" regarding Porter. When Trump barged into a session with reporters that Kelly was holding in his office last month, some West Wing tea leaf watchers interpreted the move as a slight against the chief of staff.

But Shah also repeatedly declined to get into specifics about how much the White House knew previous year about the allegations against Porter. Yet Kelly kept Porter on and, inexplicably, expanded his portfolio.

"Rob Porter has been effective in his role as staff secretary".

Mildred Antenor, who teaches women's studies at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, said the flood of accusations of sexual and domestic violence that followed claims made at movie producer Harvey Weinstein - allegations he has denied - had created a "paradigm shift".

The Daily Mail ran photos of Holderness with a black eye that she said resulted from Porter hitting her.

Nuzzi, now the Washington correspondent for NY magazine, told CNN that "you can't judge Hope Hicks the way you'd judge a typical political PR professional".

In general, past presidents have invited diverse groups of faith leaders to religious events at the White House.

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