White House: John Kelly has not offered resignation

Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump's chief budget officer, is in the spotlight this week as staffers consider what might happen if White House chief of staff John Kelly leaves in the wake of the Rob Porter scandal.

"We wish him well", Trump told reporters during a hastily arranged photo opportunity in the Oval Office.

Instead, Trump said, 'As you probably know, he says he's innocent.

White House chief of staff John F. Kelly arrives before President Trump speaks at a meeting with law enforcement officials at the White House on February 6.

This is a developing story and will be updated. That afternoon, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Porter still had the White House's support and the decision to resign was his own.

Trump also has been quizzing those around him about their opinion of Mulvaney in recent weeks, aides and associates tell CNN. "We'll comment on any issues affecting White House staff when we get back to Washington", he said.

Trump did not express any sympathy for the two women who this week provided graphic accounts of the verbal and physical abuse they said they suffered while married to Porter. The U.S. Government Accountability Office last month added the system to its "high risk" list of federal areas in need of reform, noting that executive branch agencies were "unable to investigate and process personnel security clearances in a timely manner, contributing to a significant backlog of background investigations". Porter said he will leave the White House after a transition period.

'And I think you have to remember that. Flynn's security clearance was suspended in February following his firing less than a month into the job amid concerns about his Russian contacts and comments to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but weeks after the administration reportedly learned of his lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Kelly tells reporters he learned Tuesday night that staff secretary Rob Porter, the chief of staff's right-hand man, had allegedly abused two ex-wives.

The episode has raised questions about who in the White House knew of the issue, and whether presidential aides have been properly vetted. But Kelly handed Porter more responsibilities to control the flow of information to the president. But Porter remained in his role, delivering all manner of information straight to the president's desk until he resigned this week.

When news first broke that Porter had abused both his first wife Colbie Holderness and his second wife Jennifer Willoughby, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly's initial statement on the matter was shockingly dismissing given the serious nature of the allegations against his employee.

Porter has denied the allegations of domestic abuse and says he is the victim of a smear campaign.

Shah said Kelly was not "fully aware" of the alleged spousal abuse until Wednesday, when he saw the pictures of Holderness with a black eye. "The reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described", he said in a statement announcing his resignation.

  • Rogelio Becker