Kelly: 'We didn't cover ourselves in glory' over handling of Porter

Kelly jokes 'God punished me' when he left Homeland Security for the White House

While Kelly said Friday that Porter's presence in the West Wing on February 7 was a mistake, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said at the time that Porter would ultimately be resigning, but planned to stay on to ensure a smooth transition.

About two hours later, Kelly said he was made aware of a second press inquiry regarding allegations of verbal and physical abuse by another of Porter's ex-wives. "One of you asked Sarah (Sanders), so that's how I found out".

Kelly claimed he first heard a "serious accusation" about Porter on Tuesday, Feb. 6, late in the afternoon, before the Daily Mail published its first story alleging domestic abuse that evening. "That's the good thing about being chief of staff in a White House that is in such disarray, historically, that you can just wait for the next storm to come on".

Kelly also claimed that he and McGahn did not know about the accusations of abuse because the information had only been shared with the security office, but The Washington Post reported that McGahn was informed in September 2017 that Porter's security clearance was delayed because of allegations of domestic violence. "He said it's absolutely untrue".

"It came to my notice that the kind of things I was used to" in previous jobs, including at the Defense Department, Mr. Kelly said, were not "up to the standards I'd been used to".

"I got back here 6, 6:30".

He also said that Mr.

But the White House did not disclose Porter was leaving until the afternoon briefing the following day. Porter resigned. Days ago, Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and a senior adviser, was stripped of his top-secret security clearance after months of delays in completing his background check.

"I talked to Rob and just, he resigned", Kelly said, putting a finite timestamp on his former aide's resignation.

Mr. Porter's resignation was announced February 7, though Mr. Kelly said he received the resignation a day earlier. Kelly said the security office received a second "tranche" of information on Porter in July, but that he was still not made aware of it.

Kelly, appearing on stage with two other former DHS secretaries and the current holder of the position, Kirstjen Nielsen, drew laughs when he said he had "no right" to be on stage with them.

The security office then asked for more information, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation then sent back in November, Kelly added.

"We didn't cover ourselves in glory in terms of how we handled that Wednesday morning", the day after Kelly now says Porter resigned. She said he had resigned but that "it won't be immediate" and that his departure was "a personal decision that Rob made".

Kelly also said Donald McGahn II, the White House counsel, had been unaware of an issue with Porter's background investigation, even though Porter had mentioned to McGahn in January 2017 that he was anxious that his former wives had damaging information against him.

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