World

FBI says White House had information on Trump aide last year

FBI says White House had information on Trump aide last year

"The White House Personnel Security Office, staffed by career officials, received information previous year in what they considered to be the final background investigation report in November", she said.

The White House certainly thinks there might be, otherwise why are aides like Conway and Sanders going to such great lengths to portray the President as a champion of victims of domestic abuse? His reaction to the allegations against Porter, combined with proliferating reports about the lengths to which his staff went to protect the staff secretary, creates a familiar analog. Porter's departure, contradicting the contention of top officials that his background investigation was "ongoing" at the time of his resignation.

Several senior officials, including chief of staff John Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn, were aware of the broad allegations against Porter for months, officials said.

President Trump's aides with interim security authorization were advised by a spy chief for the United States to be given "limited" access to classified data. In Porter's case, Colbie Holderness, his first wife, and Jennie Willoughby, his second wife, shared their harrowing accounts during the Federal Bureau of Investigation background check when he was named White House staff secretary.

Though Porter was not recognized widely outside the White House, he was an increasingly powerful figure in the West Wing, responsible for controlling all the documents going to Trump's desk, including classified information.

"That's what we're hearing privately from West Wing officials", Green said.

The FBI and the White House have some pretty contradictory statements about former White House secretary Rob Porter.

Brian Kilmeade, one of the hosts, had some harsh words on Tuesday for Raj Shah, a White House deputy press secretary, after Shah defended a background-check investigation that he said Porter had been subject to for months. "Soon thereafter we received request for follow-up inquiry, and we did the follow-up and provided that information in November", Wray said. Porter was interviewed about the allegations in September, an official said. "We administratively closed the file in January and then earlier this month we received some additional information and passed that on as well".

More news: Fifty Shades Freed Weekend Box Office Collection
More news: Cleveland Cavaliers vs Oklahoma City Thunder: Lineups, preview & prediction 2/13/18
More news: Townships recruited to fight gerrymandering in Pennsylvania

"I can only give you the best information that I have", Sanders said at one point.

As questions swirled over the White House's timeline on Porter's dismissal, his security clearance and whether it's OK for alleged abusers to work as top presidential aides, Trump left it to some of the women around him to condemn domestic abuse. Among registered voters, more than half of women - 54 per cent - identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 38 per cent who say they align with Republicans, according to 2016 Pew Research Center statistics. The official wasn't authorised to discuss the matter and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The new explanation, by an anonymous official, is unlikely, however, to make the days-long fallout from the Porter affair go away - and may only serve to fuel the media feeding frenzy engulfing the White House.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats added that the American public needs to know that this interference "is real" and that the country needs to build a system to protect elections from meddling.

Calling for a "revolutionary change" in how the US government vets its own people, Coats said what's needed is a process that takes advantage of new technologies and information on social media to provide "early awareness of individuals". He stepped down last week after accusations of spousal abuse by his two ex-wives.

Porter also conceded in the meeting that he had called his second wife, Jennifer Willoughby, "a f***ing bitch" while on their honeymoon in 2009, as the Daily Mail had reported. "I beg to differ".

Now Holderness, whose infamous black-eye photo undoubtedly sealed Porter's political fate, has written a column for the Post, declaring that "recognizing and surviving in an abusive relationship take strength". Not only is there reason to question his character, but the overarching message here is that this White House isn't much concerned about domestic violence. But in this particular instance, you're talking about sources that I can't verify because I've not had that conversation with him.

But what was supposed to be "Infrastructure Week" had already been preemptively derailed after the White House began the week, as it often does, with a self-inflicted crisis that continues to expand.