Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

U.S. congressional panel probes White House on Porter abuse accusations: chairman

U.S. congressional panel probes White House on Porter abuse accusations: chairman

'The chronology is not favorable from the White House'.

The Chairman of the House Oversight Committee made a surprising announcement Tuesday morning.

Gowdy flagged the discrepancy in his letter to Wray on Wednesday.

Despite that, Porter took on an increasingly central role in the West Wing and was under consideration to serve as Trump's deputy chief of staff, two officials said.

Porter resigned last week from his role as staff secretary amid domestic abuse allegations, which he denies.

Porter resigned after reported their allegations against him.

"What matters to me is that we are directing inquires to people that we think have access to information we don't have", Gowdy said.

'You can call it official, you can call it unofficial, ' Gowdy said.

Describing his inquiry, Gowdy said: 'You can call it official. Those words don't mean anything to me.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday, "The White House had not received any specific papers regarding the completion of that background check".

He is also wondering how Porter managed to work in the White House for a year, handling the most sensitive documents for the president while only holding an interim security clearance, and why that clearance was not yanked when the Federal Bureau of Investigation turned up the abuse accusations.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Wednesday that Gowdy was "doing his job" by looking into the process by which Porter was given an interim clearance.

The scrutiny has put particular pressure on White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who defended Porter when the allegations first emerged. McGahn told Kelly last fall there was concern about information in the background investigation involving Porter's ex-wives, the official said, and Kelly expressed surprise that Porter had previously been married.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, pressed by reporters at Tuesday's briefing about Wray's latest account of the timelinne, explained that the White House personnel security office got information previous year for what they considered the final background investigation report. The FBI said it gave the Trump administration information on multiple occasions past year about Porter and that the investigation wrapped up in January. But when asked if she was concerned for top White House aide Hope Hicks, who is dating Porter, Conway said no because "I've rarely met somebody so strong with such excellent instincts and loyalty and smarts". "The White House personnel security office, who's the one that makes the recommendation for adjudication, had not finished their process and therefore had not made a recommendation to the White House".

Trump's updated disclosure form shows that Kushner appears to have tapped three different lines of credit since he began working at the White House. "There is a breakdown in the vetting system and that breakdown needs to be addressed".

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