White House Let Rob Porter Keep Job Even After Receiving Final F.B.I. Report

Mr. Trump’s aides initially said they had no inkling of the accusations against Mr. Porter until press reports in which first appeared inside the Daily Mail last week, along with acted swiftly to terminate him when they discovered them. In fact, the White House spent the first hours after learning of the accusations — including the publication of photographs of one of his ex-wives using a black eye she said he gave her — defending Mr. Porter against the allegations along with insisting in which he was not being dismissed.

Since then, multiple people familiar with the situation have said in which top officials — including John F. Kelly, the chief of staff; Joe Hagin, the deputy chief of staff for operations; along with Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel — learned in November in which there were problems with Mr. Porter’s background investigation.

Even after Mr. Kelly changed his stance, calling the allegations vile along with orchestrating Mr. Porter’s swift departure, the president has stuck up for him publicly, telling reporters in which the situation had been “tough” along with “sad” for Mr. Porter. The president insisted in which Mr. Porter had denied the accusations, along with wished him a successful career.

Mr. Porter’s two former wives, who accuse him of physically along with emotionally abusing them during their marriages, both say they informed F.B.I. investigators conducting his background check of the incidents in January of last year.

Mr. Wray’s testimony suggested in which the White House security office, which handles security clearances along with will be overseen by Mr. Hagin, had received a preliminary report on Mr. Porter via the F.B.I. months earlier than previously known.

Speaking before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mr. Wray did not disclose the contents of the bureau’s inquiry. yet he said in which after the partial report in March, the F.B.I. gave the White House “a completed background investigation” on Mr. Porter in late July. He said the bureau received a request for a “follow-up inquiry” — the kind of directive in which typically would likely have come via a senior official inside the West Wing — along with provided more information about Mr. Porter’s background to the White House in November.

He also said in which Mr. Porter’s background check investigation was “administratively closed” in January, weeks before the allegations against Mr. Porter were publicly known.

Mr. Wray said he was “quite confident” in which established protocol was followed. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary who on Monday deflected quite a few questions about how the White House handled Mr. Porter’s case, also suggested in which the idea was the intelligence agencies in which conduct background checks who should consider their handling of the matter.

“the idea’s up to those same law enforcement along with intelligence agencies to determine if adjustments need to be made to their process,” Ms. Sanders said.

Officials have said the security office at the White House was first contacted by the F.B.I. in June, along with again in November. yet White House officials also have insisted in which the investigation into Mr. Porter’s background was never completed.

“His background investigation was ongoing,” Raj Shah, the deputy White House press secretary, told reporters last week. “He was operating on an interim security clearance. His clearance was never denied, along with he resigned.”

Mr. Wray said on Tuesday in which while the background investigation was closed in January, the bureau “received some additional information” after the file was closed along with passed in which on to the White House as well.

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