White House story on Porter ‘doesn’t add up,’ Washington insider says
WASHINGTON — During Tuesday’s press briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders attempted to explain the apparent contradictions between FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony before Congress earlier the same day and the West Wing’s evolving public account of the handling of domestic abuse violations against former staff secretary Rob Porter.
At issue is Wray’s assertion that the FBI had completed its background check on Porter in late July and sent its findings to the White House. Previously, the White House had claimed that a background investigation into Porter was ongoing when allegations of spousal abuse against him surfaced last week in the media, and that it had received no information from the FBI that would disqualify him for a security clearance.
But a source familiar with how the White House personnel process was handled in prior administrations told Yahoo News that Sanders’s story “doesn’t add up.”
“It would be highly irregular for something like this to happen,” said the source, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation and the limited number of people familiar with the process.
Last week, two of Porter’s ex-wives went public with allegations he verbally and physically abused them. Porter, who has vehemently denied the accusations, resigned from his position on Feb. 7. His position was one of the most sensitive in the White House and essentially involved being a key gatekeeper for documents for the Oval Office.