The Rob Porter scandal keeps looking worse by the day for the White House. Tuesday morning saw both FBI Director Christopher Wray state that the bureau had repeatedly warned officials over domestic abuse allegations against the former staff secretary, and it was also revealed that Sarah Huckabee Sanders held a meeting with select reporters along with Porter. Reports had already indicated that Chief of Staff John Kelly and Counsel Don McGahn shielded Porter despite knowing about the FBI investigating the claims, now, it seems that Kelly probably had bigger plans for Porter until his last day on the job.
CNN reports that Porter was up for promotion just prior to his resignation. Not just any promotion, either. Porter was having “serious discussions” to expand his role (from being the guy who controls the paperwork flow to Trump) to either moving into a trade policy position or even becoming Kelly’s Deputy Chief of Staff. Kelly was up for the idea, and so were many other White House senior staffers:
Several White House officials, including chief of staff John Kelly, were receptive to promoting Porter. Kelly had told associates that Porter was one of the few competent professionals on his staff and wanted to ensure that he was being used to his full potential. CNN has reported that Kelly was aware for months of the potential that Porter’s ex-wives could present damaging information on him.
Kelly “definitely wanted to expand his role,” a source familiar tells CNN.
Indeed, it seems that White House officials — all the way to President Trump, who was “very sad” about the allegations — were crazy about Porter. This makes things look even worse for John Kelly, who appears to have kept the allegations under wraps, at least to some degree, before all hell broke loose. Kelly has reportedly also expressed a willingness to resign over this scandal, but no further developments have come of that matter. At least, not yet.