The White House is facing questions Thursday about why it continued to employ a key aide to U.S. President Donald Trump who had failed to win a permanent security clearance after two ex-wives told investigators he had emotionally and physically abused them.
In addition to the difficult time Shah had nailing down a consistent narrative regarding what senior White House staffers knew about the abuse allegations and when, he also had a hard time confirming if Porter resigned of his own accord or if he was sacked.
Porter's defenders say Kelly didn't know the full details because Porter's background check was never completed.
Mr Kelly has yet to comment on reports that he knew of the allegations against Mr Porter.
His father, Roger Porter, worked for several White House administrations before becoming a professor at Harvard.
"I think that was a personal decision that Rob made and one that he was not pressured to do but one that he made on his own", Sanders said.
Porter issued a strong statement denying the allegations. I took the photos given to the media almost 15 years ago. "I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims".
Porter's ex-wife, Jennifer Willoughby, told the DailyMail.com - the US website of a United Kingdom tabloid - that he had difficulty controlling his anger and at one point pulled her out of the shower and yelled at her. Cunningham also reportedly assured Skiffington Holderness that his wife was "not obligated" to speak with the bureau. He also claimed that a smear campaign was being run based on the allegations.
But Shah also repeatedly declined to get into specifics about how much the White House knew a year ago about the allegations against Porter.
"He punched in the glass on the door".
The president also once suggested a woman that accused him of assault wasn't attractive enough for him to have done it. If they're not, I'll come back and apologize. The couple went to the Canary Islands for their honeymoon, where Porter kicked her thigh during an argument, she said. He played a crucial role in determining what papers reach the President's desk, a gatekeeping position that meant direct access to Trump.
He has been linked in a romantic relationship with White House communications director Hope Hicks, the president's longest serving aide.
Less than 24 hours later, Hatch told reporters, "I am heartbroken by today's allegations".
"I was shocked by the new allegations released today against Rob Porter", Kelly said late Wednesday.
"There is no place for domestic violence in our society", he said in a statement released on Wednesday night.
Porter has denied the allegations, but the charges appear credible, given they come from three women - two former wives and an ex-girlfriend - and include corroborating evidence: a photograph of one of Porter's wives with a black eye and swollen cheek, a call to 911, and a restraining order obtained by his second wife after he became violent and refused to leave their apartment, violating a separation agreement.