BREAKING NEWS : Hank Aaron, baseball legend and former home run king, dies at 86 Full Story

6 questions about Rob Porter the White House needs to answer

The resignation of White...

Posted: Feb 8, 2018 6:08 PM
Updated: Feb 8, 2018 6:08 PM

The resignation of White House staff secretary Rob Porter after accusations that he abused both of his ex-wives raised lots -- and lots -- of questions about who knew what and when, and why no one acted before pictures emerged of his then-wife with a black eye.

Below are six questions the White House needs to answer about this whole mess.

1. Who knew about this?

We know from CNN reporting that "senior White House officials" -- including chief of staff John Kelly -- knew the basic outlines of the allegations against Porter. Who other than Kelly knew? And what, if anything, did they say or do? Kelly, we now know, pushed Porter into ever-more important roles within the Trump inner circle despite knowing the allegations. Did Kellyanne Conway know? Jared Kushner? Ivanka Trump? And did any of them do anything other than go along with Porter's ascension in Trumpworld?

2. What did Kelly know -- and when?

It's clear that Kelly was aware of the accusations against Porter as far back as last fall. But what, exactly, did he know? And when did he learn the severity of what Porter is alleged to have done? Kelly loyalists sought to cover for the chief of staff on Wednesday night, insisting that he was taken aback by the picture of one of Porter's ex-wives with a black eye -- and that no one, Kelly, included, knew the extent of what was being alleged until the past 24 hours. But there are conflicting reports as to what Kelly knew and when he knew it.

The problem with any of the explanations is that even after the story of Porter's alleged abuse came out in the Daily Mail earlier this week, Kelly continued to urge Porter to stay on in his current role. And, even in his clean-up statement on Wednesday night, Kelly refused to walk back his praise for Porter.

3. Did the FBI alert the White House to Porter's issues? And when?

Both of Porter's ex-wives talked to the FBI about the alleged abuse as part of his background check. Did the FBI alert Kelly -- or anyone else in the White House -- to the seriousness of the allegations? Is that how Kelly and the other senior White House staffers knew about it? If not, why not? And if the FBI did warn Kelly about the accusations, why was Porter not only kept on but brought even closer into the inner circle? Even if Porter was telling his colleagues that the whole thing was simply an attempt by his exes to smear him, wouldn't a warning from the FBI trump that? Or, put differently: Shouldn't it?

4. How was Porter doing his job without a full security clearance?

Don't be fooled by the job title. "Staff secretary" to the President of the United States is a hugely important job. That person is a direct conduit to the President, traveling with him and serving as a sort of information gate-keeper. That role with a President like Trump is even more important, and Porter's ability to effectively manage the information flow to Trump made him invaluable to Kelly.

But how can someone in that senior a position not have a full security clearance? It's been a year. Wouldn't that raise some red flags for Kelly and others in the White House? And how, logistically speaking, could Porter do his job without a security clearance?

5. Why was Hope Hicks involved in crafting the Kelly statement?

Hicks and Porter are romantically involved. Which makes it very odd that she was part of a small group tasked with writing a statement from Kelly that offered a full-throated defense of Porter.

This is that statement: "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."

It's that statement that Kelly kind of, sort of walked back on Wednesday night. But couldn't anyone see how Hicks writing it might be sort of a conflict?

6. How much did Trump know and how did he react?

According to CNN reporting, Trump was informed of the allegations around Porter earlier this week when the Daily Mail story broke. But, what, exactly was he told? And, what was his reaction? Did he support the full-throated defense of Porter from Kelly? Did he even know about it? Did he urge Kelly to have that response? Or did Trump want Porter out? If he did, why didn't it happen? (Remember that Porter resigned. He wasn't fired.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 601937

Reported Deaths: 9593
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion831111322
Lake44972678
Allen32498545
Hamilton29039315
St. Joseph27133380
Elkhart24291343
Vanderburgh19160246
Tippecanoe17799130
Johnson14871292
Porter14631167
Hendricks14188247
Madison10851219
Vigo10636178
Clark10520137
Monroe9299110
Delaware9055134
LaPorte8972160
Howard8134142
Kosciusko800382
Warrick665197
Hancock6575103
Bartholomew637999
Floyd6322109
Wayne6076161
Grant5937113
Dubois552578
Boone544967
Morgan530594
Henry503464
Marshall499884
Cass478663
Dearborn470745
Noble468357
Jackson420747
Shelby410781
Lawrence387478
Clinton370642
Gibson365559
DeKalb344264
Montgomery340754
Harrison340544
Knox333139
Miami317344
Steuben311545
Whitley301725
Wabash299747
Adams299035
Ripley296545
Putnam292049
Huntington288659
Jasper287634
White270340
Daviess266073
Jefferson257938
Fayette245148
Decatur244883
Greene238162
Posey236927
Wells233350
LaGrange226361
Scott221838
Clay220932
Randolph212148
Jennings195836
Sullivan190833
Spencer188019
Fountain182127
Washington182022
Starke174443
Jay166322
Owen162837
Fulton162330
Orange156333
Carroll155415
Rush153318
Perry151227
Vermillion147334
Franklin146933
Tipton130932
Parke13018
Pike115626
Blackford110522
Pulaski96137
Newton90521
Brown86833
Benton85910
Crawford7839
Martin72313
Warren6757
Switzerland6455
Union6227
Ohio4787
Unassigned0375

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 849704

Reported Deaths: 10518
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin100046706
Cuyahoga845231068
Hamilton63092447
Montgomery42660405
Summit34405754
Lucas31041611
Butler30546229
Stark25443429
Warren19436140
Lorain18767223
Mahoning17163337
Lake15882153
Clermont15697110
Delaware1422678
Licking13067137
Trumbull12680313
Fairfield1262180
Greene11915136
Medina11439167
Clark10802265
Wood10230158
Allen9774126
Portage9163107
Miami907373
Richland9035117
Marion7420113
Tuscarawas7280179
Columbiana7263124
Pickaway719550
Wayne6954169
Muskingum690741
Erie6090127
Hancock547590
Ross543487
Scioto533664
Geauga501155
Darke465591
Ashtabula449373
Lawrence447053
Union444928
Sandusky433062
Mercer432088
Huron423541
Seneca423465
Auglaize419662
Shelby419421
Jefferson415469
Belmont411240
Washington383340
Athens37379
Putnam372674
Madison349929
Knox347922
Ashland342538
Fulton335243
Defiance327782
Crawford319472
Preble318437
Brown307121
Logan304132
Ottawa289243
Clinton286643
Williams275866
Highland271818
Jackson261345
Guernsey249825
Champaign249328
Fayette234429
Morrow23014
Perry228318
Holmes222864
Henry216849
Hardin210133
Coshocton203521
Van Wert200545
Gallia194726
Wyandot193851
Pike172417
Adams172015
Hocking169824
Carroll153216
Paulding143221
Noble119940
Meigs106823
Monroe100331
Harrison87821
Morgan82229
Vinton68913
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
26° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 16°
Angola
Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 11°
Huntington
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 15°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
26° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 16°
Lima
Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 18°
Colder Friday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events