White House Faces Questions About Key Aide's Employment

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The White House's defense is to claim that the security clearance for Porter was the FBI's fault, also insisting that Trump's chief of staff knew nothing.

"We want to ensure that people coming into the country are the best and the brightest, regardless of nationality, creed, religion, or anything else in between", Shah said.

Porter announced he would leave the White House Wednesday after a series of stories in the Daily Mail in which his ex-wive's accused him of assault.

"The reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described", Porter said in the statement.

Porter's ex-wife, Jennifer Willoughby, told the DailyMail.com - the US website of a United Kingdom tabloid - that he had difficulty controlling his anger and at one point pulled her out of the shower and yelled at her. A source told Fox News that Porter would likely be out of the White House as early as Thursday, though he was initially expected to stay on staff for a period of time to ensure a smooth transition. He denied his ex-wives' claims that he abused them in a statement on his departure.

"I was shocked by the new allegations released today against Rob Porter", Kelly said.

Earlier in the day, Trump addressed the 66th Annual Prayer Breakfast, in Washington, telling the gathering of more than 3,800 elected officials and religious leaders on hand: "America is a nation of believers and together we are strengthened by the power of prayer".

Mr Porter attended Harvard with the President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.

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U.S. President Donald Trump (L-R), joined by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, senior advisor Steve Bannon, Communications Director Sean Spicer and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, in the Oval Office.

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

Willoughby took out a temporary protective order in 2010, which according to the Post said that "reasonable grounds exist to believe that [Porter] has committed family abuse and there is probable danger of a further such offense".

Democratic senators also requested an intelligence community investigation into security clearance protocol on Thursday, Politico reported.

The FBI knew of the allegations, and the White House had to have known, before a bombshell article in The Daily Mail exposed the accusations, including many details, was published Tuesday.

In the White House, Porter, 40, was widely regarded as a rising star. The Washington Post has reported White House aides had been aware generally of accusations against Porter since late a year ago and that Kelly urged Porter to stay even after the photographs surfaced.

"The President and Chief of Staff have full confidence in his abilities and his performance". Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, slammed Republicans for stonewalling his efforts to obtain information about the security clearance process at the White House. "My staff loved him and he was a trusted advisor", Hatch said. "Porter was allowed to remain in his position", he said. Kelly, along with Porter, helped organize the West Wing's policy and decision-making process and infused the staff with a clearer sense of goal, officials said.

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