Kelly ‘shocked’ to learn of assault allegations against Rob Porter — but ‘stands by’ his support of the former Trump aide
White House chief of staff John Kelly on Wednesday released a second statement claiming he’s “shocked” to learn that recently-resigned presidential secretary Rob Porter was accused by two of his ex-wives of assaulting them.
“I was shocked by the new allegations released today against Rob Porter,” Kelly said in a statement. “There is no place for domestic violence in our society.”
Here’s the new statement from the chief of staff, saying he was “shocked” by allegations against Rob Porter: pic.twitter.com/WC7N96rH7g
— Elizabeth Landers (@ElizLanders) February 8, 2018
The allegations against Porter, however, are not new. The Intercept, who broke the story earlier on Wednesday, said the FBI was aware of the allegations and interviewed both of his ex-wives who accused him of domestic abuse when he applied for White House security clearance.
The Intercept also noted that Jennifer Willoughby, Porter’s second wife, also wrote about the alleged abuse on a blog post published in April 2017 titled “Why I stayed.”
Kelly also said he will “stand by” his previous defense of Porter, who he called a “man of true integrity and honor” and a “trusted professional” earlier on Wednesday. Reports on the chief of staff’s comments surprised White House staffers and ex-colleagues, one of whom said they are in “beyond disbelief” at his defense.