FBI had Porter domestic violence photos last January: report


FBI investigators had photos of the alleged abuse inflicted by former White House aide Rob Porter on his ex-wife as far back as last January, according to a report.

Porter, who was staff secretary to President Trump, left the administration last week after reports on the claims made by his ex-wives Jennie Willoughby and Colbie Holderness, who provided photos of her black eye.

Officials including Chief of Staff John Kelly, who after the first allegations praised Porter, said they were shocked by the photos.

The White House said that Kelly became “fully aware” of the allegations on Saturday, with President Trump expressing sympathy for his staffer and saying that he “found out about it recently” despite though reports said that staff in the administration were aware that Porter was having difficulty receiving a security clearance.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, despite White House claims that the investigation into Porter was ongoing, said that his agency had given a preliminary report to the White House last March, a final report in July and closed the file on Porter this January.

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White House Chief of Staff John Kelly walks with White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter to depart with U.S. President Donald Trump aboard the Marine One helicopter from the White House in Washington, U.S. November 29, 2017. Picture taken November 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly walks with White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter to depart with U.S. President Donald Trump aboard the Marine One helicopter from the White House in Washington, U.S. November 29, 2017. Picture taken November 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly walks with White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter to depart with U.S. President Donald Trump aboard the Marine One helicopter from the White House in Washington, U.S. November 29, 2017. Picture taken November 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly walks with White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter to depart with U.S. President Donald Trump aboard the Marine One helicopter from the White House in Washington, U.S. November 29, 2017. Picture taken November 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly walks with White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter to depart with U.S. President Donald Trump aboard the Marine One helicopter from the White House in Washington, U.S. November 29, 2017. Picture taken November 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter (R) and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (L) walk to board Air Force One with U.S. President Donald Trump en route to New Jersey from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S. August 4, 2017. Picture taken August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter (R) and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (L) walk to board Air Force One with U.S. President Donald Trump en route to New Jersey from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S. August 4, 2017. Picture taken August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter (R) and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (L) walk to board Air Force One with U.S. President Donald Trump en route to New Jersey from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S. August 4, 2017. Picture taken August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (L) leads White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter off of Air Force One as they arrive with U.S. President Donald Trump (not pictured) at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S. February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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The White House has said that the “full nature” of the allegations was not known until recently, and that the White House Personnel Security office was still in the middle of its “process.”

But a report from CNN on Thursday night said that the FBI had photos of the alleged abuse just days after Trump’s inauguration last year, raising doubt that White House officials did not know about them months ago.

It is unknown whether the pictures were given to the White House at the time, though it is unlikely that the reports made to the administration including White House Counsel Don McGahn in March and July did not mention them.

Porter had voiced concern to McGahn about the background check process for his security clearance last January, according to multiple reports.

The staffer never received a full security clearance, despite working in the White House for more than a year.

The prospect that the White House may have known about the allegations, and known that there was photographic evidence, for the majority of that time has prompted an investigation of the White House’s handling of the situation from the House Oversight Committee.

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