The White House says one thing, the FBI says something very different.
During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the FBI alerted the White House to problems with Rob Porter’s background check months ago, according to Business Insider. This is a direct contradiction to what the Trump administration has been saying — that they were only recently made aware of credible abuse allegations from two of his ex-wives.
Porter resigned last week after the news surfaced that he was physically and mentally abusive to his ex-wives. Both women provided the Daily Mail with photographic evidence of their claims. Porter denies any of the abuse ever took place.
Notable members of the Trump administration have strongly defended Porter, including White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Trump even tweeted that he’s worried about the fate of those whose “lives are being shattered and destroyed” by what he characterized as a “mere allegation.”
After the Daily Mail released the damning photos, Sanders arranged an off-the-record meeting with four top WH reporters where Porter gave them his side of the story and took questions.
The following day, Sanders repeated Porter’s comments; and then, hours later, Kelly expressed shock, saying there is “no place for domestic violence in our society,” but also saying he still stood by his previous comments of the Porter he had “come to know.”
Eventually, Kelly said that, within 40 minutes of learning about the photographic evidence, he moved to push Porter out – even though he – as well as other senior White House officials – heard about the alleged abuse weeks earlier.
Wray told the Senate Committee that the FBI had provided the Trump administration a partial report on the investigation into Porter in March of 2017, and the background check was completed in late July. Wray said the White House requested a follow-up inquiry which the FBI provided in November, and the case was “administratively closed” in January. Wray added that “earlier this month, we received some additional information, and we passed that along as well.”