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FBI contradicts White House on probe of former aide Porter

AP  |  Washington 

Contradicting the White House, the FBI has said it gave the information on multiple occasions last year about a top accused of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives, and the investigation wrapped up in January.

That account by FBI challenged the assertion that Rob Porter's background "investigation was ongoing" and officials first learned the extent of accusations against him only last week, just before he abruptly resigned.

Wray's testimony marked the latest development in a scandal that has called into question the judgement of senior members of the staff, put new stress on the administration's already strained credibility with the public, and drawn accusations of tone-deaf handling of abuse allegations.

The week-long fallout from the allegations against Porter, Donald Trump's staff secretary, has thrown the West Wing into chaos not seen since the earliest months of the administration and has sparked new rounds of recriminations inside the

Privately, officials acknowledge that the public timeline offered last week -- that the administration first learned of the ex-wives' charges against last Tuesday -- was flawed at best.

Several senior officials, including and White House Don McGahn, were aware of the broad allegations against for months, officials said.

Kelly found out after requesting an update on the large number of senior staffers operating without full security clearances, according to a senior administration who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal discussions.

McGahn told Kelly last fall there was concern about information in the background investigation involving Porter's ex-wives, the said, and Kelly expressed surprise that had previously been married.

Despite that, Porter took on an increasingly central role in the West Wing and was under consideration to serve as Trump's deputy chief of staff, said.

White House told reporters on Monday, "The White House had not received any specific papers regarding the completion of that background check." Yet Wray testified that the FBI sent the White House its preliminary report in March 2017 and its completed investigation in late July.

Soon after that, the agency received a request for a follow-up inquiry, and it provided that information in November. Porter was interviewed about the allegations in September, an said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 14 2018. 06:30 IST