Fired White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter is reported to now be telling associates he was urged by senior Oval Office officials to “stay and fight” for his post in the administration.
Axios is reporting Porter, who was finally shown the door after two ex-wives stepped forward to claim episodes of physical and emotional abuse during their marriages to him, is also insisting he never “misrepresented anything” to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who has come under increasing fire over his initial support for Porter.
Throughout his time at the White House, Porter was never able to secure a full FBI security clearance, though some media outlets have reported he was still allowed to regularly interact with the president and even deal with some classified information.
On Sunday, Axios reported that an unnamed member of Congress claims Porter mislead Kelly about allegations of abuse in both of his marriages and once the chief of staff became fully aware of the discrepancies he pushed Porter to resign.
Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway also took the airwaves early Sunday to defend the administration’s handling of the situation. She added during a State of the Union appearance on CNN that President Donald Trump still has “full faith” in Kelly and is not looking to replace him as some reports have suggested.
Over the last 48-hours, Trump himself has fielded questions about the matter, at one point indicating that he wished Porter well, while stressing that he has maintained his innocence.
“He says he’s innocent, and I think you have to remember that,” said Trump, who made no mention of the victims in Porter’s alleged attacks.
Porter is now rumored to be dating White House communications director Hope Hicks, who CNN has reported had a hand in crafting a supportive statement that was put out on his behalf in Kelly’s name when news of the allegations first broke.
The 29-year-old senior staffer, who came to the White House with no political experience, has also previously been romantically linked to former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Back in 2016, the two were spotted on a New York City street corner engaged in a public screaming match.