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Kelly indicated to Trump he was willing to resign: report

The Hill logo The Hill 2/9/2018 Avery Anapol
John Dyson, Lord Dyson wearing a suit and tie © Provided by The Hill

Chief of staff John Kelly has reportedly indicated to President Trump that he is willing to resign amid the controversy surrounding his handling of the domestic abuse allegations against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter.

Individuals close to Kelly and the president told ABC News that the chief of staff has "made it clear" over the past 24 hours that he would be willing to step down.

The White House, however, said in statement provided to CNN that Kelly has not offered to step down.

"He has not offered to resign," spokesman Hogan Gidley said.

ABC's report came hours after reports that Trump was considering options for replacing Kelly.

Porter resigned Wednesday after it was revealed his two ex-wives had accused him of domestic abuse with photographic evidence.

Kelly has been under fire for his handling of the information and was reportedly aware of the abuse months before it was reported.

He initially defended Porter as a "man of true integrity and honor" after the reports were first published.

He later backtracked, saying he was "shocked" by the allegations after the Intercept shared a photo from one of Porter's ex-wives showing a black eye that Porter allegedly gave her.

"I was shocked by the new allegations released today against Rob Porter," he said in a statement. "There is no place for domestic violence in our society."

The chief of staff was reportedly aware of the abuse months before it was reported, and made the decision to keep Porter on staff, even though the FBI had informed him of the accusations.

Porter operated for months in the White House without a full security clearance because the accusations against him and a protective order from one of his ex-wives prevented him from being granted full clearance.

Kelly also reportedly told White House senior staff to say that he took "immediate and direct action" after learning about the allegations against Porter.

Updated at 4:59 p.m.

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