John Kelly Defends Himself, Sees No Reason to Resign Over Porter Scandal

Hannah Rogers
March 4, 2018

Speaking to employees at the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday, the embattled Kelly told the crowd, 'I miss every one of you every day'. Martosko said the first claim he brought the White House was from Jennifer Willoughby, one of Porter's ex-wives, who claimed Porter "physically dragged her, naked, out of a shower". At that point, there had been no resignation announcement from the White House. "Emotional and psychological abuse is abuse!" "I never saw him mad or abusive in any way", he said.

However, on Friday, Kelly said that he had ensured Porter's resignation before the photo was released. Kelly also admitted that his initial concerns sparked a further crackdown, when he noticed that around 35 to 40 White House staffers had top secret clearance and did not need it. On Friday, Kelly doubled down on claims he did not know the extreme extent of the allegations.

"I have absolutely nothing to even consider resigning over", Kelly said, even as he acknowledged that senior White House aides "didn't cover ourselves in glory" in how they responded to the scandal. Whether or not this is actually true remains to be seen, but what is confirmed is the fact that, according to Bloomberg, the SkyBridge Capital founder is no longer allowed onto the White House grounds for any reason.

Kelly also said Donald McGahn II, the White House counsel, had been unaware of an issue with Porter's background investigation, even though Porter had mentioned to McGahn in January 2017 that he was anxious that his former wives had damaging information against him.

"Well, if you look specifically about Rob, the first I heard of a serious accusation against him was on the 6th of February", Kelly said.

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"By December, January, they still had not finished evaluating, the security office, and then 6 February happened and he resigned".

Anthony Scaramucci, the man who holds the title for shortest stint as White House Communications Director, is inserting himself into the latest drama at the Trump White House by blasting General John Kelly - the man who fired him. "The next day, probably around 10 or 11 o'clock, somebody said Rob's still in the building", he explained.

"Chris Wray was right, and it was a shock for me certainly", Kelly said. He said he learned afterward that information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation was sent to the White House beginning in March, in July, in November, and finally in February, but that the White House staff office had still not reached conclusions about Porters status in the White House.

"I should have collected everyone that works here", Mr. Kelly said when asked about the fuzziness in the hours after the first report of abuse.

Bloomberg reports the official also said anyone who leaves under similar circumstances as Scaramucci would have restricted access.

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