Tag Archives: White

White House had big plans to promote serial wife beater Rob Porter before his history went public

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Rob Porter was so exemplary, he was up for a promotion. That news came just after FBI Director Christopher Wray confirmed Tuesday during testimony that the White House knew for months about the former staff secretary’s history of domestic violence. Nonetheless, he was in “serious discussions” to take on bigger roles in Donald Trump’s West Wing, writes CNN:

Porter had been actively lobbying to take on new policy portfolios outside the traditional scope of the staff secretary, one person familiar with the matter said, which included speechwriting duties and a role in planning policy rollouts. Neither of those tasks is traditionally carried out by the staff secretary.

One of the areas Porter was set to delve further into was trade policy, according to the person. Porter was a regular attendee at a weekly trade meeting among top-level administration officials.

He was also being considered for the deputy chief of staff position, another source familiar with the situation said.

John Kelly was reportedly one of Porter’s biggest fans and wanted to be sure he was “being used to his full potential.”

Kelly “definitely wanted to expand his role,” a source familiar tells CNN.

Trump will almost surely have someone’s head over this, as he doesn’t look kindly on bad press generated by others. He prefers being he sole source of his own humiliation.

As the fallout from the Porter scandal has stretched into a new week at the White House, a frustrated President Donald Trump has spent his days phoning allies and associates for advice on how to handle negative coverage, sources familiar with the conversations say.

Trump’s also got that sads that the main focus of his “agenda” might be hampered by the exit of key abusers on his staff.

He is particularly concerned with advancing his immigration proposals, a policy objective that has been helmed by Kelly.

And by “immigration proposals,” he means “deportations.” 

The best and the brightest? White House plagued by high turnover and missing security clearances

Donald Trump was going to drain the swamp and staff his administration with the best people in the world. Instead …

Mr. Trump is on his second press secretary, his second national security adviser and his third deputy national security adviser. Five different people have been named communications director or served in the job in an acting capacity. The president has parted ways with his chief strategist, health secretary, several deputy chiefs of staff and his original private legal team. He is on his second chief of staff — and some wonder whether a third may be in the offing soon.

That includes the former national security adviser who’s now under indictment and cooperating with the special counsel’s investigation, the health secretary who used his previous role in Congress to push benefits for companies he invested in and who as a cabinet member burned up the private jet miles, the Mooch, and the white supremacist who the Mooch said was “trying to suck [his] own cock.” It does not appear to include the Hungarian Nazi or either of the wife-beaters. But they’re all part of the record-high staff turnover rate of 34 percent. 

Of the people who are still there:

… 30 to 40 people in the White House have yet to secure permanent security clearances a year into the administration and could potentially be unsuited to such high-level jobs. 

It’s been more than a year for some of those people, like Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, who has repeatedly revised his security clearance questionnaire.

Of course, none of them live up to the guy in the Oval Office.

FBI director reveals the White House has been blatantly lying about the domestic abuse scandal

During congressional testimony on Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray presented a timeline of when the White House was informed about red flags in Rob Porter’s background check process that conflicts with the talking points Trump officials have been using over the past week.

“What I can tell you is that the FBI submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in March, and then a completed background investigation in late July,” Wray said. “Soon thereafter we received requests for follow-up inquiry, and we did the follow-up and provided that information in November, and then we administratively closed the file in January, and then earlier this month we received some additional information and we passed that on as well.”

But White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and deputy press secretary Raj Shah have repeatedly insisted that the background check process into Porter was ongoing when media reports surfaced of alleged physical and emotional abuse he had inflicted on both of his ex-wives.

“His background investigation was ongoing,” Shah said last Thursday. “He was operating on an interim security clearance. His clearance was never denied, and he resigned.”

During a press briefing on Monday, Sanders said “the background was ongoing.” During a Fox & Friends interview Tuesday morning, Shah said “what we know about Rob Porter specifically, and that’s the incident that everybody is talking about, is that his background check investigation had not been completed yet. It was still in the investigative process and it had yet to be adjudicated. Prior to an adjudication the White House is not going to step into the middle of the process and short-circuit it.”

Wray’s testimony indicates Sanders and Shah have been lying — the White House officials let a potential blackmail target serve in a sensitive role handling classified documents even after they were informed that he would be unable to get a security clearance due to the abuse allegations against him.


Trump Caught In Massive Lie As FBI Director Says White House Knew About Rob Porter Last Year

Sen. Ron Wyden grilled FBI Director Chris Wray over what and when the FBI told the White House about Rob Porter’s serial domestic violence. Wray said that the FBI gave the White House information about Porter last year. Video: When asked by Sen. Ron Wyden when the White House knew about Porter, FBI Director Christopher […]

The post Trump Caught In Massive Lie As FBI Director Says White House Knew About Rob Porter Last Year appeared first on Politicus USA.

Republican senator blasts White House’s dishonesty on domestic abuse scandal

On Tuesday morning, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) said there’s no justification for the White House’s handling of abuse accusations against former top aide Rob Porter.

During an interview on CNN, Ernst was asked specifically about a new Politico report indicating the White House’s initial response to a photograph showing one of Porter’s ex-wives with a black eye was to convene a meeting with reporters where Porter shared his side of the story.

“I think you can’t justify it,” Ernst said, “You can’t justify that.”

According to Politico, “In the hours immediately after the Daily Mail published a photograph of Porter’s first ex-wife with a black eye, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders hastily arranged an off-the-record meeting in the West Wing with Porter and four reporters: the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, the Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey, Axios’ Jonathan Swan, and the Wall Street Journal’s Michael Bender. In that meeting, which hasn’t previously been reported, Porter relayed his version of events and fielded questions from the group.”

Politico’s reporting is at tension with the White House’s talking point about how the photograph provided the impetus for officials to quickly to terminate Porter, including comments Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made during Monday’s news briefing.

Ernst criticizes Trump

Despite the photographic evidence and accounts of verbal and physical abuse from both of Porter’s ex-wives, it’s not clear whether President Trump believes the accusations against Porter.

On Friday, Trump praised Porter, ignored his alleged victims, and said “we hope he has a wonderful career and he will have a great career ahead of him.” The next day, Trump — has denied each of the 14 sexual assault allegations against him — lamented on Twitter that “lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation.”

During the CNN interview, Ernst indicated she’s unsatisfied with Trump’s response to the Porter accusations, and said she thinks “he needs to send a stronger message.”

“We need to allow women and men that have been abused to come out, make sure their stories are heard and believed,” she said.

While White House officials refuse to say if Trump even believes Porter’s accusers, Ernst said she does.

“I do believe the women, yes I do,” she said.


Colbie Holderness survived Rob Porter's abuse: Tells White House, don't call me weak

Colbie Holderness, the first wife of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter—and the woman whose bruised face you’ve probably seen pictures of—is now speaking out. Holderness responded in the Washington Post to Kellyanne Conway’s Sunday comments about Porter, including that “I have no reason not to believe the women,” about which Holderness wrote “I actually appreciated her saying that she at least did not not believe us.”

But I was dismayed when Conway, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” went on to say that she does not fear for White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, who has reportedly been dating Porter. “I’ve rarely met somebody so strong with such excellent instincts and loyalty and smarts.”

Borrowing Conway’s words, I have no reason not to believe her when she says that Hicks is a strong woman. But her statement implies that those who have been in abusive relationships are not strong.

I beg to differ.

Recognizing and surviving in an abusive relationship take strength. The abuse can be terrifying, life-threatening and almost constant. Or it can ebb and flow, with no violence for long periods. It’s often the subtler forms of abuse that inflict serious, persistent damage while making it hard for the victim to see the situation clearly.

Holderness pointed out that “Abuse often doesn’t manifest itself early on—only later, when you’re in deep and behind closed doors. The really ugly side of Rob’s abuse only came out after we married, following three years of dating.” So Porter could be treating Hicks wonderfully right now and abuse could still lie down the road—something Conway should damn well know. After all, the man has abused two wives and one girlfriend that we know of. And, as Holderness writes, “smarts” and strength were required to get away from him. It takes strength to go to your Mormon bishop and talk about abuse and it takes more strength to leave when you’re counseled to stay. It takes strength to stand up for the truth when the White House is sending people out to praise your abuser.

As for “smarts,” however charming Porter is in person, anyone in the White House who believes Porter’s ridiculous explanations for the most egregious reported examples of his abuse should question themselves. Seriously, this guy is supposed to be such a shining intellect and yet his explanations seem to come out of some Clumsy Abuser Excuses 101 book.

Abbreviated pundit roundup: White House unveils cruel and fiscally irresponsible budget

We begin today’ s roundup with The New York Times and its analysis of the administration’ s cruel and fiscally irresponsible budget:

On Monday, President Trump proposed a budget that would slash spending on Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, transportation and other essential government services, all while increasing the federal deficit.

Mr. Trump’s 2019 budget, combined with the tax cuts Republicans passed last year, would amount to one of the greatest transfers of wealth from the poor to the rich in generations. It would also charge trillions of dollars in new debt to the account of future Americans. It’s a plan that could please only far-right ideologues who want to dissolve nearly every part of the federal government, save the military.

John Cassidy at The New Yorker details the lies:

Mulvaney and his boss have presided over a historic smash-and-grab raid on the nation’s tax base—otherwise known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017—while doing little to restrain spending. The result is a sea of red ink that now stretches into the indefinite future. This time last year, Mulvaney and his colleagues at the Office of Management and Budget claimed that the budget would be balanced in ten years. Now they have dropped the pretense. In 2028, according to the White House’s new budget, the deficit will still be four hundred and forty-five billion dollars, or 1.4 per cent of G.D.P. And even these figures are highly dubious. They depend on some highly unrealistic assumptions about spending and economic growth between now and then.

Over at The Washington Post, Eugene Robinson catalogs all the broken promises:

Remember how the president promised a $1 trillion program to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges, airports and railroads? Well, he claims to be doing even more — $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending over the next decade. But the promise comes with little or no new federal money, which means it barely qualifies as an idle wish. Trump says he wants to spend just $200 billion over 10 years on infrastructure, with cities and states providing the rest. But mayors and governors don’t have $1.3 trillion lying around; ask them, if you don’t believe me. And since the $200 billion is supposed to come from savings elsewhere in the budget, Trump effectively plans to give with one hand and take away with the other.