White House says background check for Rob Porter, staff secretary who resigned after reports of spousal abuse, was never completed. White House officials refused to explain Thursday why Chief of Staff John Kelly and others allowed Rob Porter to stay in his high-profile job even after his security clearance was held up over allegations of domestic abuse by two ex-wives. "His background investigation was ongoing," White House spokesman Raj Shah said of Porter, the former White House staff secretary. "His (Security) clearance was never denied, and he resigned." Shah would not detail when Kelly and others learned of the allegations, only that they discovered their "Full nature" - including pictures of a woman's black eye - on Wednesday. Ref. USAToday.
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FBI's background check timeline for Rob Porter appears at odds with White House; Director Wray says completed review for ex-staff secretary submitted in 'late July'. FBI Director Christopher Wray Tuesday defended the bureau's background inquiry into former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who resigned last week amid allegations of domestic abuse. In his first public remarks on the FBI's investigation to determine whether Porter qualified for a security clearance, Wray provided a specific timeline on the inquiry to the Senate Intelligence Committee that appeared to conflict with recent White House accounts. Wray said a "Partial report" on Porter was submitted to the White House as early as March and a completed review was submitted in "Late July." The White House requested follow-up information from the FBI on Porter's review as recently as November before the bureau "Closed the file" in January. Last week, the White House said it was not aware of the "Full nature" of the abuse allegations until Wednesday, just before officials accepted Porter's resignation - and said Porter's background investigation was still ongoing. Ref. USAToday.
House panel now investigating Rob Porter's security clearance, escalating controversy over ex-White House staff secretary accused of domestic violence. House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., sent letters to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and FBI Director Christopher Wray, demanding answers about who in the White House knew of the domestic violence accusations against President Trump's senior aide. Porter, whose job as staff secretary gave him access to some of the most sensitive documents the president sees, was allowed to work on an interim security clearance until he resigned last week when the accusations came to light. Two of Porter's ex-wives accused him of physical abuse, and told FBI agents that he could be susceptible to blackmail. "The committee is investigating the policies and processes by which interim security clearances are investigated and adjudicated within the executive branch, and the extent to which any security clearance issued to Porter comported with those policies and processes," Gowdy said in the letters. Ref. USAToday.