The White House is doing something it has never done before in response to the Rob Porter scandal

Mike Pence

Vice President Mike Pence became the latest White House official to say the administration could’ve done better in handling the scandal surrounding Rob Porter, a former staff secretary accused of domestic violence.
Previously, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and deputy press secretary Raj Shah made similar comments.
It’s unlike any prior admission from the administration.

Vice President Mike Pence became the latest — and most prominent — White House official to make a startling assertion in the midst of the scandal surrounding former staff secretary Rob Porter and officials who were slow to act on allegations of domestic abuse against him.

Pence said the White House “could have handled” its response better.

It was the latest in a series of stunning admissions. Pence, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and deputy press secretary Raj Shah have all admitted in public venues that the White House didn’t do its best job in handling the Porter fallout.

That’s coming from an administration where, as a person close to the White House told Business Insider, the modus operandi is to never admit fault. No matter what.

The gravity of the Porter scandal seems to have outweighed that mantra. Porter, who had an important behind-the-scenes job at the White House, resigned last week amid abuse allegations from two ex-wives who provided publications with evidence of the alleged abuse. Colbie Holderness, Porter’s first ex-wife, provided photos to news outlets of a black eye she says he gave her. Jennifer Willoughby, Porter’s second ex-wife, provided a copy of a 2010 protective order she filed against him. Porter has denied the allegations.

The White House was slow to react, to say the least. When the story was set to break, White House chief of staff John Kelly released a statement defending Porter, only to release a second statement hours later that expressed shock at photographic evidence of the alleged abuse published in the Daily Mail. Other staffer such as Sanders defended Porter even after it was reported that he had resigned from the administration.

It soon became clear that the administration had known about the allegations, though possibly not the photographic evidence, for months. On Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee that the bureau alerted the White House to problems with Porter’s background check months ago.

Contradictory accounts were presented about Kelly’s handling of the allegations against Porter. Two senior officials told The Washington Post that Kelly held a meeting in which he instructed top staffers to describe the lead-up to Porter’s resignation from the White House in a contradictory way to the administration’s previous accounts. He told the staffers to say he took action to remove Porter within 40 minutes of first learning of credible allegations.

Other reporting suggested that Kelly was aware of the allegations for weeks at the very least, as they were preventing Porter from being able to obtain a permanent security clearance. On Sunday, the news …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Politics


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