Trump aide quits amid spousal-abuse claims

Chief of Staff John Kelly, White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter arrive Thursday at Andrews Air Force Base Md

Chief of Staff John Kelly, White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter arrive Thursday at Andrews Air Force Base Md

He announced his resignation on Wednesday, and denied the claims against him. That effort continues even after his resignation.

In a second statement issued but the White House late Wednesday, Kelly said he was "shocked" by the allegations and condemned domestic violence, but also backed up his earlier comments on Porter. President Donald Trump only learned of the allegations last week, according to CNN. "A month later he physically prevented me from leaving the house".

Porter's ex-wives detailed the allegations to the Federal Bureau of Investigation over the course of a routine background check, they told CNN's MJ Lee on Wednesday.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to talk about Porter's security clearance but said that he had been an effective staff secretary. Why would Hatch trust the White House to apprise him of all the reasons it needed a defense of its staff secretary?

Kelly saw in Porter a partner in professionalizing the operation.

However, an aide to Hatch said the statement was drafted before the first article came out and Hatch didn't know all the details. And he was one of a select group of aides who shook Chinese President Xi Jinping's hand during a state visit to Beijing in November.

His career at the White House has now come to an abrupt end after photos published by DailyMail.com showed Porter's ex-wife, Colbie Holderness, with a black eye.

White House officials and Republican lawmakers expressed shock at the news. Domestic violence in any form is abhorrent.

"I can't say enough good things about him", Kelly said.

Mr Porter, who attended Harvard with the President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, formerly worked for Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, who said he was "heartbroken" by the allegations. "I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign", Porter said in a statement.

Hawaii false alarm: Officers stop over missile alert
It includes overseeing the addition of 20 ground-based interceptors to the 44 already stationed in California and Alaska. The unsuccessful attempt comes amid heightened fears over North Korea's developing nuclear program.

Aides had been aware generally of accusations against Porter for at least several weeks, White House advisers said, but learned of the specifics late Tuesday when approached by a reporter from the Daily Mail, a British tabloid, which first detailed numerous allegations.

Porter has been dating White House communications director Hope Hicks, one of the most influential figures in the West Wing, several people familiar with their relationship say.

Porter, she said, also punched her in the face and choked her.

"He is a friend, a confidant, and a trusted professional", Kelly said. "I am proud to serve alongside him".

"I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have served in the Trump Administration and will seek to ensure a smooth transition when I leave the White House", he added.

Top officials remained staunch in their support of Porter on Wednesday. The staff secretary is responsible for paper flow to the president, a particularly crucial job for a commander in chief who likes to get his own information from other sources.

Porter said photos published of his former spouses were taken almost 15 years ago and do not tell the complete story.

Multiple news reports published Wednesday night said the White House knew about the accusations for months.

White House staff secretaries play an important role in the West Wing, though the position has varied in stature.

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