Kelly Again Alters White House Description of Porter Departure

John Kelly

Chief of Staff John Kelly told the press Friday that he has never considered resigning from the White House over the Rob Porter scandal.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly attempted to clarify the timeline surrounding Staff Secretary Rob Porter's departure from the White House Friday, but contradicted previous statements from him and other White House officials. Porter's two ex-wives until February 6.

The White House continually changed its story about what it knew about the accusations against Porter, and when. Porter has denied the abuse allegations.

But Kelly said he had not personally known about accusations against Porter until the afternoon of February 6. With this limited context, Kelly simply thought Porter had been in a "messy divorce". "I accepted his resignation earlier today, and will ensure a swift and orderly transition". Over a few hours that day, Mr. Kelly said, he had issued a statement in strong support of Mr.

Kelly sought to clarify that story to reporters, saying that Porter was sacked the day the White House learned of the allegations, but that Porter showed up to work the next day, causing a "mix-up".

As the Donald Trump administration continues to hemorrhage its most trusted aides, some of those who want to return to see the president are being told they can't.

"We didn't cover ourselves in glory in terms of how we handled that", Kelly said. "My assumption was he was doing the checkout process", Kelly said. "That Gen. Kelly does not consider that "abuse" is terrifying to me".

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The flights that were cancelled today were on top of the over 400 which were cancelled yesterday, in and out of the airport. They said anyone scheduled to fly out on Saturday should check their website for updates.

A White House official who requested anonymity to respond to the accusations said Kelly wouldn't interfere with a national security review because of a personal dispute, adding that transactions are judged against established standards. Porter would remain on staff for a time before leaving.

Kelly also noticed that many staff did not have final clearance and were working as Federal Bureau of Investigation background checks were ongoing.

"[It was] more people than I was comfortable with", Kelly said.

Kelly told journalists that he had his "eyes opened" after joining the White House in July a year ago, after he noticed the manner in which people were treating documents and the number of staff who had access to secrets.

Kelly's repeated defenses of Porter and his allowing Communications Director Hope Hicks, Porter's then-girlfriend, to craft some of the reaction statements again made the chief of staff a lightning rod for Democrats.

Previous reporting and comments from the Federal Bureau of Investigation also cast doubt on Kelly's narrative: Porter, who has since left the administration, was among several White House staffers who had been operating on an interim clearance for the past year, because his background check had not been completed, according to the White House.

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