"Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade has been uncharacteristically hostile toward President Donald Trump over the last two days regarding the White House's response to the resignation of former staff secretary Rob Porter, who has been accused of domestic abuse.
Referring to the White House's reliance on the FBI's background check system, Kilmeade told a White House spokesperson on Tuesday, "You relied upon it and you got burned."
Kilmeade also chastised Trump for not condemning Porter publicly.
For a show that has often served as one of President Donald Trump's primary news sources and biggest boosters, "Fox & Friends" has been fiercely critical of the White House's response to allegations of domestic abuse from former staff secretary Rob Porter.
Host Brian Kilmeade had some harsh words for White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah on Tuesday after Shah defended the background check investigation system that Porter had reportedly been subject to for months.
"You relied upon it and you got burned because you had a two-time accused domestic abuser there at a very sensitive position where perhaps he shouldn't have been had that been fully exposed," Kilmeade said. "So what changes now?"
Porter had been given an interim security clearance for work in the Trump administration while the FBI was in the process of doing a background check investigation on him. Porter has been accused by both of his ex-wives of physical and emotional abuse.
Kilmeade's comments to Shah were preceded by another tense exchange on "Fox & Friends" with White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley on Monday, in which Kilmeade pressed Gidley on Trump's relative public silence on the Porter scandal.
"So the president is just as outraged as many Americans about the alleged domestic abuse which looks pretty strong, the evidence, strong against Porter," Kilmeade said. "Why won't he say that publicly?"
Gidley, like Shah, responded with what has become a standard talking point from the White House on the issue.
"Well I don't know if he's going to say that publicly or not, and I've not spoken with the president about this," Gidley responded, "but I can say we lean on a process at the White House, and quite frankly as soon as we found out about this on Tuesday, by Wednesday Rob Porter was gone, the president has been very clear that all forms of abuse, and all forms of battery against women are deplorable."
Kilmeade then reiterated his original line of attack.
"But he hasn't said that," he fired back.
A growing scandal
Although Porter was not someone who was widely recognized outside the White House, he had become an increasingly powerful figure in the West Wing.
He was responsible for controlling all the documents that got to Trump's desk, including classified information.
Chief of staff John Kelly, and others in the White House, have come under fire for their handling of the Porter case and for reportedly knowing about elements of the allegations against him in the months before his resignation.
In 2010, Porter was handed a protection order against him as a result of his one of his wives' allegations.
Kelly was well aware of this order, one senior member of the administration told Politico. Although Kelly had reportedly considered pressuring Porter to leave his role, according to that official, he never did.
On Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the FBI had submitted a partial report on Porter's background check in March 2017, and after several follow-ups, closed the investigation file in January.
This timeline contradicts the official White House narrative, which claims that the background investigation was ongoing, and claims the allegations against Porter were not known within the administration until last week.
Kelly, who had worked closely with Porter for several months, at first issued a statement supporting Porter as a man of "true integrity" before criticizing domestic abuse in general without mentioning Porter specifically.