Indian-American Raj Shah makes White House press briefing debut

Feb 10, 2018, 05:59
Indian-American Raj Shah makes White House press briefing debut

Shah held his first press briefing following the resignation of White House staff secretary Rob Porter over domestic abuse allegations, USA media reported. Willoughby also said Porter was verbally abusive. His daughter Ivanka Trump, serving as a White House senior adviser, was also deeply disturbed by the allegations, particularly by photographs of the alleged abuse, the sources said. "I went back and forth with him for an hour or so about what language I would be comfortable with, and ultimately, the language he asked I wasn't comfortable with".

The episode is a staffing embarrassment for Trump and could threaten Kelly's standing in the White House, some say.

Trump's top aides, including Chief of Staff John Kelly, knew about the situation but the White House didn't take action to remove him from the position, the CNN reported.

Kelly has written a letter to White House employees seeking to allay their concerns. White House spokesman Raj Shah admitted Thursday that the administration "could have done better" in responding to the accusations about Porter's past behavior. "We understand the shock, pain and confusion that these allegations have caused in our workplace".

Willoughby said Porter asked her to say she had taken some "liberties with that therapeutic post", but, she said, "when I thought about it, I didn't".

"He was saddened for all of the individuals involved", Shah said. And yet Porter kept rising in the White House. He was bombarded by questions on the White House advisor's sudden exit, the USA media reported.

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Porter has denied the allegations.

"In this and many, many other areas, it appears that the Oversight Committee has constructed a wall around the White House in order to prevent any credible oversight whatsoever", he wrote. That doesn't change how serious and disturbing these allegations are. Hicks helped draft some of the early White House responses to the allegations against Porter.

Porter served as a clearinghouse for paperwork moving in or out of the Oval Office. Few aides enjoyed greater access to the Oval Office, or spent more time in the president's company. It also raises the question of who else in the White House knew, including the president himself.

Trump didn't mention Porter when he gathered with lawmakers, members of the military and former Vice President Dick Cheney at the White House on Tuesday evening to watch the movie 12 Strong.

At any rate, the president is reportedly unhappy with the way the White House has handled the Porter story.

Kelly planned to fire those who were denied security clearances, but had not yet done so, according to Politico. Porter had an interim clearance, which means he can travel with the president on Air Force One and present him with classified documents.

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All of the officials interviewed for this article requested anonymity to discuss a personnel and national security matter.

Willoughby also shed new light on the Federal Bureau of Investigation background check into Porter while on Today, and revealed that her ex-husband knew she had said multiple damning statements.

On Wednesday, the Mail reported accusations by Porter's first wife, Colbie Holderness. Holderness has a blackened right eye and a swollen cheekbone.

Porter called the allegations "outrageous" and "simply false".

Kelly's first statement on Porter complimented him without mentioning the allegations.

Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor, and I can't say enough good things about him. "He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional".

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'He was curious what I was going to say.

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