Published: Tue, March 06, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

John Kelly admits he knew about White House clearance problems past year

John Kelly admits he knew about White House clearance problems past year

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said Friday he did not know of accusations that former aide Rob Porter hit one of his wives when he praised the former White House staff secretary.

Porter offered to resign February 6, but how seriously Kelly took Porter's initial offer remains unclear. "I never saw him mad or abusive in any way", Kelly said.

CNN's Anderson Cooper opened tonight by looking at the comments John Kelly made today about Rob Porter and how, well, something seems very off here.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly lamented his short tenure as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and jokingly said his switch to the West Wing was a punishment from God.

Porter, as White House staff secretary, helped Kelly manage the flow of information that reaches the president daily.

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He says he made supportive comments before he knew of an accusation of physical abuse. Just an inquiry... He had already resigned.

Trump associates inside and outside the White House have criticized Kelly's handling of the Porter episode.

Then, Thursday afternoon, after the conclusion of the DHS event, NBC News reported that Kelly, along with Defense Secretary James Mattis, were forcing President Trump's second National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster out.

Kelly sought to clarify that story to reporters, saying that Porter was sacked the day the White House learned of the allegations, but that Porter showed up to work the next day, causing a "mix-up". The chief of staff didn't move until after Porter resigned to tighten White House clearance procedures and limit access to classified material for people with interim clearances.

The dispute over Kelly's handling of Porter and security-clearance procedures has shaken confidence in Kelly within the White House and led to speculation that he might depart his job.

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"We didn't cover ourselves in glory", Kelly, who had issued a statement in Porter's defence, told a group of reporters gathered in his office.

He also said he doesn't mind being quoted insulting Mr Kelly.

Kelly released a new statement more than 24 hours later saying he was "shocked by the new allegations", but continued to defend Porter. "No pictures, by the way", he told reporters.

"At that point in time, I thought the statement was accurate as it represented my relationship", Kelly said. His religion, his focus on work, et cetera.

In the evening, Kelly issued a new statement condemning domestic violence. "They still not had evaluated his package to make a recommendation one way or the other", he explained. But he said he was not made aware of any specific allegations against Porter. It was not, however, until February 15 that he issued a memo overhauling the White House's security clearance process and ordering the phasing out of the kind of temporary clearance Porter had.

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Davis Jr. graduated from Central High School in 2016, said Tom Hernandez, a spokesman for Plainfield School District 202. Tiffani said the university has been placing lock mechanisms on all the lecture hall doors over the past year or two.

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