Is this the end for John Kelly?

12 February, 2018, 01:43 | Author: Hope Soto
  • Kellyanne Conway on CNN's

Trump's comments were a sharp contrast to those of Vice President Mike Pence, who told NBC's Lester Holt on Friday "there's no tolerance in this White House and no place in America for domestic abuse".

On Saturday, Trump doubled down on his defense by tweeting that "lives are being shattered" by allegations that may or may not be true.

Trump, who was recorded on tape prior to his presidency boasting about sexually assaulting women, has denied allegations of sexual misconduct from more than a dozen women, and said he was the victim of a "smear campaign".

Yet the allegations against Mr Porter and Mr Sorensen were long-standing, well-documented and, at least in Mr Porter's case, known to the White House for months, even as he held one of the West Wing's most sensitive positions, channeling paperwork to the president. Trump also said he had been "surprised" and "very sad" to learn about the allegations against Porter.

Priebus adds President Trump has never complained about General Kelly, and praised him for the job he's doing as chief of staff. A spokesman confirmed that a second White House staff member, David Sorensen, a speechwriter, had resigned over allegations by his former wife that he had abused her during their marriage. "President Trump continues to claim the 5 black men from the Central Park jogger case are guilty", O'Brien tweeted. Public pressure is one thing, but the White House has often proven itself to be impervious to it, through any number of highly controversial episodes that might have torn apart a previous administration.

Rob Porter and Donald Trump
Rob Porter and Donald Trump. Jonathan Ernst Reuters

Porter's ex-wives detailed the allegations to the Federal Bureau of Investigation over the course of a routine background check, they told CNN.

Aides' attempts to explain the defensive response from Trump and Kelly only raised more questions. Among them was Roy Moore, the former Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, who is accused of molesting teenage girls. In Kelly's and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders' initial statements, they went far beyond saying these were mere allegations and that there needed to be an investigation. Among the names being considered: Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Mark Meadows and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. At the end of the session, according to people with knowledge of his remarks, Kelly volunteered that he had something he wanted to "clarify".

"The perception of Kelly as above politics has been critical to his success in the West Wing".

At a senior staff meeting on Friday, Kelly tried to push his own timeline concerning Porter. Some staffers who were at the meeting left feeling that Kelly had effectively asked them to lie on his behalf. The staff secretary resigned later Wednesday.

Kelly has indicated he would step aside if he lost the faith of the president. The President did not express any sympathy for the women Porter allegedly abused, instead focusing on Porter's claim of innocence. "He has said this in the past about incidents that relate to him as well".

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