The White House Admits That It ‘Could Have Done Better’ Over Domestic Abuse Allegations Against An Aide

On Wednesday, White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter resigned amid domestic abuse allegations from his two ex-wives. Porter denied their claims as “simply false” despite a widely circulating photo of Colbie Holderness, who sported a black eye after an alleged 2000-ish physical altercation with her then-husband. Reports suggested that Chief of Staff John Kelly knew about these allegations and protected Porter. In the above clip, Deputy White House Press Secretary Raj Shah told CNN’s Jim Acosta (who commented on Porter’s apparent admission that he’d taken the black-eye photos) that the White House “could have done better” in dealing with the situation over the past few days.

However, Shah also asserted (below) that Kelly only became “fully aware” of the accusations against Porter on Wednesday. Shah declined to go into much detail (other than mentioning “additional allegations”) but vaguely stated that some claims were part of a ongoing background investigation.

At the beginning of the briefing, Shah gave a statement about the White House background check process as it relates to Porter. Shah called these “serious and disturbing allegations” and indicated that the probe was happening when Porter resigned, although it’s not clear when that investigation began.

In related news, C-SPAN aired this video of a reporter speaking with Mike Pence (who’s in South Korea) over the Porter allegations. Pence said that he only learned about the controversy when he woke up on Thursday, but the reporter further grilled him: “Can you comment on why you often seem a little bit out of the loop on some of this major news?” In response, Pence expressed how honored he feels to serve the Trump administration and the U.S. while abroad. Awkward.

(Via CNN MSNBC, C-SPAN, New York Times & Washington Post)