White House Chief of Staff calls his job "God's punishment"

WHITE HOUSE CHIEF of Staff John Kelly stands behind media in the White House during a meeting with President Donald Trump and members of Congress this week on school safety

Other White House advisers have insisted that President Trump still has "full faith" in Kelly.

Though Kelly said it was "nothing illegal", he added that it "wasn't quite up to the standards" he had been used to while working as a military general at the Pentagon.

White House counsel Don McGahn, deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin, and Kelly were reportedly made aware of the abuse allegations in November, and the security office submitted follow-up inquiries to the Federal Bureau of Investigation at that point.

The crowd laughed, and Kelly continued.

Kelly said that it was his "sense" that his statement of support for Porter was put out at that point. "Emotional and psychological abuse is abuse!"

But Kelly said he was in the dark because the information had not been shared with him by the Personnel Security Office, echoing statements from the White House at the time, because that office had not completed its report.

The Daily Mail, who first reported on the scandal, has accused Kelly of "twisting the timeline" to his liking. "I never saw him mad or abusive in any way", Kelly said. He said a White House press release that praised Porter came out after the they learned of the first accusation, which Kelly understood at the time to be of verbal abuse and a "messy divorce".

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Porter's dark past, apparently tolerated by his bosses for a period of time, and his brazen attempt to keep his job despite the allegations were made possible in part because of flaws in the White House system of security clearances.

But some of the problems have been of his own making, including the fiasco with former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who resigned last month after his history of domestic abuse was made public.

"I talked to Rob and just, he resigned". The admission of a less-than-ideal handling of the situation is a reverse from when Kelly told the Wall Street Journal last month the handling of the allegations "was all done right". Kelly said he asked Porter about that physical allegation that same night, and accepted Porter's resignation, some two hours after the photo hit the Internet.

Additionally, as several reporters pointed out on Friday, the White House issued subsequent statements defending Porter even after Kelly became aware of the abuse allegations. Kelly defended that statement on Friday by noting that he was unaware of the allegations made by Porter's second ex-wife until 6 p.m. that day.

"The next day, probably around 10 or 11 o'clock, somebody said Rob's still in the building", Kelly said. Porter's resignation then was made public on February 7.

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