White House Chief of Staff John Kelly may be under fire after he allegedly did not tell President Trump about the abuse allegations against White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter.
White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter resigned last Wednesday because of allegations of physical abuse by two of his ex-wives, however, President Trump’s administration is having trouble with how everything is panning out. The White House is still facing backlash about not releasing information about what they know. And now, Trump may be pointing the finger at White House staffer John Kelly.
Several reports including one by Politico suggest that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly knew about the allegations of abuse against Rob Porter, but chose to not take any action and to defend Porter when the allegations became public.
According to Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman, he was told by sources that President Trump was never made aware of the severity of the alleged incidents of physical abuse against Porter. According to Sherman’s reporting, President Trump found out when his daughter Ivanka showed her father a photo of Rob Porter’s ex-wife with a black eye that was published by the Daily Mail.
The photo, which was provided by ex-wife Colbie Holderness, shows her face up close with a black eye. According to Daily Mail, Holderness said Porter punched her in the face while they were on vacation in Florence, Italy a few years after they were married sometime in the early 2000s.
According to Sherman, someone briefed on the conversation said President Trump “was f---ing pissed.” Sherman reports that a source said Ivanka and Jared Kushner have been looking to have John Kelly replaced.
It’s not clear as to why Kelly decided to keep the abuse allegations from the president and why he continued to defend Porter after the allegations were made public, despite knowing about Porter’s history with women.
The decision-making and judgment of White House Communications Director Hope Hicks is also in question. Sherman points out that her romantic connection to Porter “clouded her judgment.” According to Sherman, Hicks is continuing to defend Porter and source told him that Hicks thinks the allegations aren’t true. Hicks is one of the only original White House Staffers left remaining, so it will be interesting to see how the White House will approach her.
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks during a meeting at the at the Oval Office where President Trump praised former staff secretary Rob Porter saying he performed well during his time at the White House. Credit: Getty Images
Sherman predicts that this latest situation with Porter may force Trump to fire Kelly, according to information he said he received from someone close to the Trump campaign.