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Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, during testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, contradicted the White House account that the reason that the security clearance issue concerning former White House Secretary Rob Porter, wasn’t completed by the White House, was delayed because of the FBI not completing an investigation into Porter’s background.
Wray stated to the committee that the FBI had submitted a partial report on Porter in March then completed their investigation in July, at which time they submitted their report to the White House. Following that submission, the White House requested further information that was provided to them by the FBI in November. The White House asserts that the FBI background check was never completed.
Porter resigned under pressure last week after photos emerged showing one of Porter’s ex-wives displaying a black eye she claims that Porter had given her. Porter denied those allegations but submitted his resignation as the issue heated up.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly stated that he had taken action against Porter within 40 minutes of finding out about the allegations reported by the Daily Mail on February 8th. But, people familiar with the issue divulged that Kelly, that night, urged Porter to stay in his job. Porter resigned the next morning.
The Porter incident has increased scrutiny on the security clearance issue in the White House. At least a dozen staff members in the Trump Administration have yet to be issued a permanent clearance. This includes Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who 15 months into the Trump Administration has yet to get clearance. Difficulties with Kushner’s clearance are a direct result of several ommissions that Kushner made on his security clearance application. Kushner continues to have access to matters of national security in the White House.