Trump praises disgraced aide accused of beating up his wives

Rob Porter with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders

White House chief of staff John F. Kelly arrives before President Trump speaks at a meeting with law enforcement officials at the White House on February 6. Who cares if Porter had multiple degrees and implemented Kelly's paper strategy?

Thirty to 40 White House officials and administration political appointees are still operating without full security clearances, including senior adviser to President Donald Trump Jared Kushner and - until recently - White House staffer Rob Porter, according to a USA official and a source familiar with the situation.

"That said, he could do it and would be great", the official added. Mr. Trump said Porter did "very well" in the White House.

It's unclear how many other White House employees are working under interim clearances. She also said his departure from the White House was not imminent.

An ex-wife of former White House aide Rob Porter has issued a stern warning to his girlfriend, President Trump's communications director Hope Hicks, urging her to be careful.

Some complained that Donald McGahn, the White House counsel, who learned in January 2017 that Porter had been accused by two ex-wives of abuse, had not been forthcoming enough about what he knew.

And it's not the first time Trump has placed more weight on denials than allegations of sexual misconduct or assault.

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But, there's a simple reason to explain it all: Kelly liked Porter personally and saw Porter as someone who could help him bring a level of order to the White House.

Senior aides knew for months about the allegations levied against Porter by his ex-wives, even as Porter's stock in the West Wing continued to rise, multiple sources have told CNN.

Trump's comments about Porter are yetanother instance of the White House defending someone credibly accused of abusing women. Porter was angry, she said, that he had still not received his security clearance. That same day, it issued a statement from Kelly praising Porter.

"Can we separate a man's work from his private life?" she asked, calling it "concerning" that the central discussion had been around Porter's professional contributions to the White House. While Shah appeared to professionally and deftly handle the reporters' barrage of questions over the Porter scandal, Trump reportedly didn't like that Shah said that "it's fair to say we all could have done better dealing with this over the last few days".

In April, Willoughby published a blog post in which she accusing Porter of physically and verbally abusing her during their marriage, including one instance in which he pulled her from the shower to yell at her in a rage.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, interim security clearances are granted in "exceptional circumstances" — when someone must perform official functions before authorities can complete a full background check and decide whether to issue a full security clearance.

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