The FBI told White House lawyer Don McGahn that Rob Porter abused his wives more than a year ago

  • The FBI first alerted White House counsel Don McGahn to allegations of violent spousal abuse made against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter in March 2017, according to a new and more detailed timeline the FBI provided to Congress.
  • The new information contradicts the White House's claim that the March 2017 report only contained basic employment information, rather than allegations of abuse.

The FBI first alerted White House counsel Don McGahn to allegations of violent spousal abuse made against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter in March 2017, according to a new and more detailed timeline the FBI provided to Congress, The New York Times reported Thursday

The new information contradicts the White House's claim that the March 2017 report only contained basic employment information, rather than allegations of abuse. 

Porter resigned in February after his two former wives publicly alleged that he physically and verbally abused them for years. The White House aggressively defended Porter before backing off after photographic evidence of the allegations emerged, and has maintained that top White House officials did not know about the allegations until days before Porter resigned. 

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Rob Porter in his White House role
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Rob Porter in his White House role
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 2: White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter watches as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with North Korean defectors in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC on Friday, Feb. 02, 2018. President Donald Trump talked to reporters and members of the media about the release of a secret memo on the F.B.I.'s role in the Russia inquiry. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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
Former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski (C) says hello to reporters as he and White House advisors Sebastian Gorka (from L), Omarosa Manigault and Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci accompany President Trump for an event celebrating veterans at AMVETS Post 44 in Struthers, Ohio, U.S., July 25, 2017. Jonathan Ernst: "The most visible person in any White House is naturally the President, followed by the press secretary. But there are also the staff who support them, any one of whom might suddenly jump into public view and be national news for a day or two. For those of us covering the President Trump administration, there seem to be more compelling figures in the West Wing than ever before. It's crucial to know who's who and why they're important. When I raised my camera and back-pedalled ahead of the group to take this image Lewandowski gave me a hello and pointed right into the lens. I liked the photo, but had no idea it would go a little bit viral, especially since Scaramucci, who was the biggest mover and shaker that week, was hidden back in the pack. But I guess the image catches a glimpse of what it's like to be a West Wing staffer on the road."REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File photo SEARCH "POY STORY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "REUTERS POY" FOR ALL BEST OF 2017 PACKAGES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY.
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 01: Rob Porter, right, White House staff secretary, and Don McGahn, White House counsel, attend a luncheon featuring a speech by President Donald Trump at the House and Senate Republican retreat at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., on February 1, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Stephen Miller, White House senior advisor for policy, right, talks to Rob Porter, White House staff secretary, after arriving on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. In a speech to congressional Republicans at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia today, Trump recognized the party's leadership and then riffed on his election. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 01: White House chief of staff John Kelly, (L), walks with staff secretary Rob Porter, (C), and White House senior advisor Stephen Miller, before boarding Marine One to depart from the White House with President Donald Trump, on February 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 05: White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter (L) and Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller (C) return to the White House after a day trip with President Donald Trump to Cincinnati, Ohio, February 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. While in Ohio President Trump delivered remarks after touring cylinder manufacturer Sheffer Corporation while the first lady Melania Trump visited patients and their families at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Gary Cohn, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, right, Stephen Miller, White House senior advisor for policy, left, and Rob Porter, White House staff secretary, walk toward the White House after arriving on Marine One with U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. Trump today threw a wrench into negotiations over a shutdown-avoiding spending bill by saying he didn't want a provision funding children's health insurance in the short-term measure. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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 (L) arrives aboard Air Force One with fellow senior staff and U.S. President Donald Trump for a summer vacation at his Bedminster estate, at Morristown Airport in Morristown, New Jersey, U.S. August 4, 2017. Picture taken August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn (R) talks with White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter (L) as they arrive with U.S. President Donald Trump aboard Air Force One at Indianapolis International Airport in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. September 27, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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In an April 13 letter to the leaders of the House committee investigating how Porter was able to receive a security clearance, an FBI official said the bureau addressed its March 3, 2017 "partial report" containing "derogatory information" about Porter to McGahn.

The Times first reported on the letter on Thursday. 

But a White House official told The Times that McGahn never read that report. 

"Don never saw it," the official said. "The right people never saw it."

The FBI then sent a full report on Porter to the White House in July 2017, which apparently did not detail the nature of the derogatory information about Porter. According to the letter, the FBI was asked by the White House personnel security office in August for more information on Porter, "including, but not limited to, re-interviews of Mr. Porter, his ex-wives and his girlfriend at the time." 

The FBI then provided the White House with a new report containing "additional derogatory information" in November. The bureau closed its investigation on January 3, 2018 and passed along some additional information on Porter on February 7. 

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White House Counsel Don McGahn
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White House Counsel Don McGahn
White House Counsel Don McGahn speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 13: U.S. White House Counsel Don McGahn after the investiture ceremony for U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden April 13, 2018 at the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 01: Rob Porter, right, White House staff secretary, and Don McGahn, White House counsel, attend a luncheon featuring a speech by President Donald Trump at the House and Senate Republican retreat at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., on February 1, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 13: U.S. White House Counsel Don McGahn (R) talks to acting U.S. Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio (L) after the investiture ceremony for U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden April 13, 2018 at the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: Don McGahn, general counsel for the Trump transition team, gets into an elevator in the lobby at Trump Tower, November 15, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump is in the process of choosing his presidential cabinet as he transitions from a candidate to the president-elect. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 13: U.S. White House Counsel Don McGahn after the investiture ceremony for U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden April 13, 2018 at the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
White House Counsel Don McGahn speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 22: White House Counsel Don McGahn speaks during CPAC 2018 February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. The American Conservative Union hosted its annual Conservative Political Action Conference to discuss conservative agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 7: Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Don McGahn, arrive in the Capitol on the day the Senate voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch as the next Supreme Court justice, April 7, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
American campaign finance lawyer Donald McGahn II takes the elevator at Trump Tower January 14, 2017 in New York / AFP / DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 20: Don McGahn, White House counsel to President Donald J. Trump, is seen on the West Front of the Capitol after Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, January 20, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
White House Counsel Don McGahn speaks during the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on February 22, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House committee, told the Times that the White House has not fully cooperated with the investigation into its process surrounding security clearances. 

"The F.B.I. has now confirmed that it repeatedly provided derogatory information to the White House about Rob Porter as far back as March of 2017," Cummings told the Times. "But White House officials ignored this information and continued granting Porter access to our nation's most highly classified secrets — just as they did with Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner."

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SEE ALSO: Top Trump lawyer reportedly knew about abuse allegations against Rob Porter for more than a year, but did not act

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