White House Chief Of Staff John Kelly Defends Rob Portman Against Abuse Allegations From 2 Ex-Wives
UPDATE: Kelly has reversed himself, and now claims that he is “shocked” by the wives-beating allegations against Porter, tweets CNN reporter Elizabeth Landers. Kelly added that he believes everyone has a right to defend their reputation.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly defended White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter who has been accused by his two ex-wives of abuse.
Porter told the Daily Mail that the allegations by his ex-wives were “slanderous and simply false,” but resigned from his White House position.
Axios notes that Kelly wanted Porter to “stay and fight.”
Kelly also released a statement in defense of Porter, notes CNN:
Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor and I can’t say enough good things about him. He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him.
A former White House official told Vanity Fair that the current White House staff is stunned by Kelly’s support of Porter:
It’s beyond disbelief. Everyone is trying to figure out why Kelly is leading the charge to save him.
Sources told Vanity Fair that Kelly and Porter have grown close since Trump appointed Kelly chief of staff in 2017.
In another bizarre twist, CNN reporter Shimon Prokupecz tweeted that Portman is dating White House communications director Hope Hicks:
CNN: White House communications director Hope Hicks, who has been in a romantic relationship with Rob Porter, was involved in crafting the response to the allegations of domestic abuse leveled against Porter on Tuesday.
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) February 7, 2018
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who reportedly worked on that statement with Hicks, also praised Porter during her morning briefing with reporters.
The White House did not respond to requests from Vanity Fair for comment.