A Key Trump Advisor Still Doesn't Have His Security Clearance

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Porter was still working under an interim security clearance while the FBI conducted its background investigation and reported its findings to the White House.

White House Counsel Don McGahn was informed less than a week into Trump's presidency that allegations of abuse from his two ex-wives would present a problem for his security clearance review.

Members of both parties have expressed a range of incredulity to outrage over the White House's handling of the allegations and clearance for Porter, with Iowa GOP Sen. Soon after that, the agency received a request for a follow-up inquiry, and it provided that information in November.

The FBI, Wray said on Tuesday, had concluded months earlier that Porter's past made him ineligible for a full (multi-year) security clearance.

"The FBI's July report required significant additional investigatory fieldwork before [the] personnel security office could begin to evaluate the information for adjudication", she said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the White House Office of Personnel Security didn't consider the investigation complete until November - and it had not made a final determination on Porter's security clearance.

Meanwhile, President Trump sent Porter out the door with well wishes and tweets seeming to call into question the allegations against Porter and the #MeToo movement overall.

Huckabee Sanders was asked if it was appropriate for Communications Director Hope Hicks to be a part of drafting the White House's response to the Porter scandal, as she is dating Porter, Huckabee Sanders snapped.

CNN previously reported Kelly and other White House officials were aware of allegations against Porter for months, and that Porter was one of many top White House staffers who operated without a permanent security clearance.

White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah told reporters on February 8 of Porter, "His background investigation was ongoing".

"Has Elaine Chao released a statement about Rob Porter and this situation in which she said that this should not be tolerated and I will stand with any woman who has any issues with how they are being treated in the White House?" "Every time he sees me, he says, 'I didn't do that.' And I believe, I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it".

According to Sherman, someone briefed on the conversation said President Trump "was f--ing pissed". The White House asserts that the Federal Bureau of Investigation background check was never completed.

Porter's second wife, Jennifer Willoughby, sought a protective order against Porter in 2010 while the two were separating.

Trump offered Porter well wishes and stressed that Porter has claimed to be innocent.

"The words "mere allegation" and "falsely accused" meant to imply that I am a liar", responded Porter's ex-wife Jennie Willoughby on Sunday in a piece for Time.