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Angry White House staff ‘beyond disbelief’ at John Kelly’s defense of alleged wife beater Rob Porter: report

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White House chief of staff John Kelly was reportedly one of the few White House officials who wanted staff secretary Rob Porter to stay at his job despite two ex-wives claiming that he used to beat them.

Now sources tell Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman that Kelly’s attempt to go to bat for Porter left a bad taste in many White House officials’ mouths, as they thought it made the White House seem insensitive to issues such as spousal abuse.

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“It’s beyond disbelief,” a former White House official tells Sherman. “Everyone is trying to figure out why Kelly is leading the charge to save him.”

Staffers were particularly frustrated that Kelly put out an official statement defending Porter shortly before he decided to step down in which he called the staff secretary “a man of true integrity and honor” and a “trusted professional.”

“How many times has Kelly put out a statement defending Trump?” one Republican asked.

Sherman said that Porter has served as Kelly’s right-hand man and has worked to limit the kinds of information that President Donald Trump sees to prevent staffers slipping him conspiracy-laden InfoWars articles.

Despite the fact that two of Porter’s ex-wives told the FBI that he physically abused them, Porter himself has denied all accusations by calling them “slanderous and simply false.”

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Donald Trump’s lurch toward fascism is backfiring spectacularly

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

During the 2016 campaign, as Donald Trump railed against "Mexican rapists" and other "criminal aliens," pollsters found that the share of Americans who said that immigrants worked hard and made a positive contribution to our society increased significantly, and noticed a similar decline in the share who said they take citizens' jobs and burden our social safety net. After Trump was elected and began pursuing his Muslim ban, the share of respondents who held a positive view of Islam also increased pretty dramatically. I'm not aware of any polling of the general public about transgender troops serving in the military before Trump decided to discharge them, but Gallup found that 71 percent of respondents opposed his position after he did.

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Judge blocking release of Jeffrey Epstein records has ties to officials linked to Epstein: report

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On Saturday, the Miami Herald reported that a judge who blocked the release of grand jury material in the Jeffrey Epstein child sex abuse case has ties to three officials with a vested interest in the outcome of the lawsuits surrounding the scandal.

"Krista Marx, the Palm Beach chief judge who also heads a panel that polices judicial conduct, has potential conflicts of interest involving three prominent players embroiled in the Epstein sex-trafficking saga: State Attorney Dave Aronberg, who has been sued by the Palm Beach Post to release the grand jury records; Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, whose department’s favored treatment of Epstein while he was in the Palm Beach County jail is part of an ongoing state criminal investigation; and ex-State Attorney Barry Krischer, part of the same investigation in connection with his decision not to prosecute Epstein on child-sex charges," wrote Julie Brown, a reporter who has extensively covered the Epstein case.

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WATCH: Buffalo cops and firefighters cheer officers charged with assault as they leave the courthouse

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According to a report from both CNN and MSNBC, the two Buffalo police officers who were charged with second-degree assault after shoving a 75-year-old anti-police brutality protester to the ground where he sustained head injuries were greeted with applause after they were arraigned on Saturday morning.

MSNBC's Alex Witt noted that both officers were released without having to post bail.

According to ABC News, "Officers Aaron Torglaski and Robert McCabe were charged with second-degree assault during their video arraignments on Saturday and were released on their own recognizance. They both entered no guilty pleas and are expected back in court on July 20."

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