Kelly offers contradictory timeline of Porter's departure

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Former Donald Trump aide Anthony Scaramucci tore into White House chief of staff John Kelly, accusing him of blocking his access to the president at the White House and Davos and driving away Mr Trump's most-important advisers at a critical moment when the White House is in chaos. "Another press inquiry [was made] that a second wife had made accusations and included physical abuse", he said about the accusation that he had assaulted his first wife, who provided a photo of herself with a black eye.

White House chief of staff John Kelly told reporters on Friday that the White House's handling of classified material "wasn't up to the standards" he had previously seen in his governmental career.

Kelly told reporters he first learned of the allegations against Porter on February 6, after inquiries from journalists.

According to two White House officials, Kelly was made aware by White House counsel Don McGahn last fall of at least broad outlines of the issues with Porter's clearance. On Friday, Kelly doubled down on claims he did not know the extreme extent of the allegations.

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"I wish I had worked harder in the six months I had the job to. not only protect the men and women that get beat up so badly every day but to really advertise in a much more effective way how good you are", Kelly said.

Kelly told reporters at the White House on Friday that he "thought that statement was accurate of my relationship with Rob Porter" at the time.

On Friday, Willoughby said Kelly's comments "added to my opinions of how poorly the White House has handled the situation for weeks", and questioned why her account was not enough for Kelly to fire Porter.

Kelly described himself as shocked by the alleged abuse, saying he had viewed Porter as the "ultimate gentleman".

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"Well, if you look specifically about Rob, the first I heard of a serious accusation against him was on the 6th of February", Kelly said. "Rob agreed ... to resign at that point". That is disturbing", she said in an email, adding: "I had filed a protective order and called the police on several occasions and I detailed being pulled naked from the shower.

On the panel, Kelly demonstrated his continued efforts to bolster the rank-and-file of DHS, saying they take "face shots" regularly that aren't fair.

"Clearly, WH Chief of Staff John Kelly knew about Rob Porter's history of abuse directly from Federal Bureau of Investigation and chose to ignore it", Jayapal tweeted.

Kelly said he then went to a meeting on Capitol Hill on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. "No pictures, by the way", he told reporters. But Mr. Kelly said he would take the blame.

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Kelly was also central to the drama over Kushner's security clearance, which was downgraded from "top secret" to "secret" since the president's son-in-law had never passed the FBI's background check.