Women's rights activists call for change in handling abuse accusations

White House chief of staff John Kelly knew that President Donald Trump's staff secretary had issues in his past possibly impeding a permanent security clearance before news reports this week on domestic violence allegations against the aide, people familiar with the matter said. White Chief of Staff John Kelly fiercely defended Porter to the DM in response to Willoughby's story, but after Holderness' photos surfaced he changed his tune. He is a friend, a confidant and a trusted professional. "I am proud to serve alongside him".

The White House had backed Porter until a photo showing Holderness with a black eye was published.

Porter's second wife, Jennifer Willoughby, told the Mail that Porter had allegedly pulled her naked out of the shower after a fight about a year into their marriage. "But this was the Rob Porter that I and many others have dealt with, that Sarah dealt with, that other officials, including the Chief of Staff, have dealt with".

A White House aide who resigned on Wednesday amid allegations of domestic abuse had a Harvard law degree and a BigLaw resume.

But as CNN reported Thursday, it was widely known by early fall of previous year among top aides - Kelly included - that Porter was facing trouble obtaining security clearance and that he had allegedly abused his ex-wives.

At the beginning of the briefing, Shah gave a statement about the White House background check process as it relates to Porter.

The ex-wife of a senior White House official who resigned amid allegations of domestic violence said, "If he hasn't already been abusive with Hope [Hicks], he will".

"I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign", he added. "'What are you going to do, blow me up?' They're pointing guns at each other and nothing ever happens".

Late last month, The New York Times reported that Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for the president's legal team, planned to tell Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russia's election interference, about a previously undisclosed phone call involving Trump and Hicks.

As staff secretary, Porter was largely responsible for controlling the flow of information to the president. Several senior White House officials are believed to have been aware about the allegations against Mr Porter, though Mr Trump was only informed of the reports this week. "I accepted his resignation earlier today, and will ensure a swift and orderly transition". Cunningham, according to the email, said "that was good", she was "not obligated" to speak with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and that they should "bury the past".

Despite their history, Willoughby said she never wanted him to lose his White House job, because she thought he was good at it, but "this is a outcome of his actions".

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