Analysis: A look at the disastrous handling of the Porter debacle

Within 48 hours, Porter had resigned amid a series of allegations via both of his ex-wives about how he physically in addition to mentally abused them as well as a photograph of his first wife, Colbie Holderness, that has a black eye.

The Trump White House — led by President Donald Trump himself — continues struggling to settle on a timeline of events over when they found out about the accusations against Porter in addition to what they did about This kind of. Trump has said in addition to tweeted sentiments seemingly sympathetic to Porter even as his White House — via press secretary Sarah Sanders — insisted that will he “take(s) domestic violence very seriously.”

This kind of’s been a remarkable series of poor decisions, miscalculations in addition to mixed messages. Below, I’ve documented what the White House said — in addition to what facts we learned — over each of the eight days of the Porter scandal. This kind of’s a wild ride.

Tuesday, February 6

The Daily Mail story posts just after 7 p.m.

Wednesday, February 7

Chief of staff John Kelly releases a statement that will reads: “Rob Porter is actually a man of true integrity in addition to honor in addition to I can’t say enough not bad things about him. He is actually a friend, a confidante in addition to a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him.” (We later learn that will communications director expect Hicks, who is actually romantically involved with Porter, was involved inside the crafting of Kelly’s hugely supportive statement.)

At 1:53 a.m. Wednesday morning, Ryan Grim, the DC bureau chief of The Intercept, tweets a picture of Porter’s first wife, Colbie Holderness, that has a black eye. “Senior White House aide Rob Porter physically assaulted two ex-wives, they tell @theintercept,” reads the tweet. “Full story to come inside the morning. His first wife, Colbie Holderness, provided these photos via a vacation they took together in Florence, Italy.”
The Intercept publishes a story at 1:33 p.m. that will reports that will both of Porter’s ex-wives told the FBI during a routine background check that will he abused them.
Sanders in addition to Porter huddle that has a tiny group of reporters in an off-the-record setting in an attempt to push back on the allegations in addition to get Porter’s side of the story heard. that will meeting was first reported by Politico.
By Wednesday afternoon, Porter has resigned, although he insists he is actually innocent. “These outrageous allegations are simply false,” he says. “I have been transparent in addition to truthful about these vile claims, nevertheless I will not further engage publicly that has a coordinated smear campaign.”
Sanders, inside the daily press briefing, insists that will Porter was not forced to resign: “I think that will was a personal decision that will Rob made, in addition to one that will he was not pressured to do, nevertheless one that will he made on his own.”

Kelly stands by his initial supportive statement until almost 9:30 p.m., when the White House issues a completely new statement via Kelly. “There is actually no place for domestic violence in our society,” he says inside the completely new statement. “I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that will I have come to know since becoming chief of staff, in addition to believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation.”

Thursday, February 8

sy88pgw reports that will Kelly — as well as various other senior White House staffers (nevertheless not the President) — knew that will Porter’s permanent security clearance was on hold in addition to that will both of his ex-wives had made allegations against him.

“By early fall, This kind of was widely known among Trump’s top aides — including chief of staff John Kelly — both that will Porter was facing troubles in obtaining the clearance in addition to that will his ex-wives claimed he had abused them,” sy88pgw reported. “No action was taken to remove him via the staff.”

Not only that will, nevertheless Kelly repeatedly urged Porter to hunker down in addition to try to weather the stories in hopes of keeping someone he has increasingly leaned on to manage Trump on staff.

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White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah issues a statement before the start of the daily press briefing that will reads in part:

“This kind of is actually important to remember that will Rob Porter has repeatedly denied these allegations, in addition to done so publicly. that will doesn’t change how serious in addition to disturbing these allegations are. They are upsetting. in addition to the background check investigates both the allegations in addition to the denials. The investigation does not stop when allegations comes to light. This kind of continues to determine the truth.

“We should not short-circuit an investigation just because allegations are made, unless they could compromise national security or interfere with operations at the White House. The truth must be determined.”

Under questioning, Shah says that will Porter was “terminated” shortly after the “full nature” of the allegations became clear. that will stands in direct contrast to the reporting via sy88pgw in addition to others that will Kelly knew of the basic parameters of the allegations last fall.

Shah also acknowledges that will “we all could have done better over the last few hours — or last few days in dealing with This kind of situation.”

Friday, February 9

For once, Trump himself addresses Porter’s resignation in addition to the accusations against his former staff secretary. Here This kind of is actually in full:

“Well, we wish him well. He worked very hard. I found out about This kind of recently, in addition to I was surprised by This kind of. nevertheless we certainly wish him well.This kind of’s obviously a tough time for him.

“He did a very not bad job when he was inside the White House, in addition to we expect he includes a wonderful career, in addition to hopefully he will have a great career ahead of him, nevertheless This kind of was very sad when we heard about This kind of, in addition to certainly he’s also very sad currently.

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“currently he also — as you probably know, he says he’s innocent, in addition to I think you have to remember that will. He said very strongly yesterday that will he’s innocent. So you’ll have to talk to him about that will. nevertheless we absolutely wish him well. Did a very not bad job while he was at the White House.”

sy88pgw reports that will Trump has grown frustrated with Hicks, who has been, to date, one of his most trusted in addition to loyal advisers.

Saturday, February 10

At 10:33 a.m., Trump tweets This kind of: “Peoples lives are being shattered in addition to destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true in addition to some are false. Some are old in addition to some are completely new. There is actually no recovery for someone falsely accused – life in addition to career are gone. is actually there no such thing any longer as Due Process?”

Sunday, February 11

Trump allies span out across the Sunday talk shows in an attempt to reframe his comments Friday in addition to his tweet on Saturday.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway says that will Trump was “very disturbed” by the allegations against Porter. White House director of legislative affairs Marc Short says Trump was “saddened.”

Office of Management in addition to Budget head Mick Mulvaney suggests that will the Trump Saturday tweet wasn’t even about Porter at all. “When I saw the tweet — I know Rob Porter wasn’t mentioned — I wondered if the President was talking about his friend Steve Wynn, who has been accused in addition to essentially condemned without any due process,” Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.”

On Sunday night, Axios’ Jonathan Swan reports that will Trump’s attitude in private toward Porter is actually far different than his public stance. Swan reports that will Trump has referred to Porter as a “sick” in addition to lambasted him in addition to his behavior behind closed doors.

Monday, February 12

Reporting out of the White House suggests that will aides are perplexed at Trump’s public statements versus his private sentiments.

Sanders, under fierce questioning about the still-unclear timeline of who knew what when in addition to the seeming sympathy for Porter in Trump’s statements, says This kind of inside the daily press briefing:

“The President in addition to the entire administration take domestic violence very seriously in addition to believe all allegations need to be investigated thoroughly. Above all, the President supports victims of domestic violence in addition to believes everyone should be treated fairly in addition to with due process.”

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