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Kelly tells aides he secured Porter's resignation: Sources

CNN logo CNN 2/9/2018 By Jim Acosta and Jeremy Diamond, CNN
John F. Kelly wearing a suit and tie © NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

White House chief of staff John Kelly, who has come under fire for his handling of domestic abuse allegations leveled against the White House staff secretary Rob Porter, told aides on Friday that he was responsible for securing Porter's resignation after the allegations became public.

"I got his resignation," Kelly said during a meeting with White House aides Friday morning, a source familiar with the meeting told CNN.

Kelly's rehashing of the events, which conflicts with public and behind-the-scenes accounts from multiple sources, left some White House officials with the impression that Kelly was trying to get senior staff to get on the same page about the recent events -- and offering a rosier picture of his own actions -- the source said.

The Washington Post, citing two senior officials, said Kelly insisted he sought to remove Porter "within 40 minutes of learning abuse allegations from two ex-wives were credible" and he urged staff to convey that version of events.

Kelly's account contradicts the version of events that has emerged from numerous sources in the days since the allegations against Porter surfaced, which said that Porter resigned over Kelly's objections.

And while it's unclear when Kelly believes the allegations became "credible," the chief of staff released a statement praising Porter's character after the Daily Mail published the allegations of both of Porter's ex-wives, who claimed Porter had physically and emotionally abused them.

CNN has also learned that Kelly and other senior White House officials learned months earlier about the allegations against Porter, but did nothing to remove him from his position, in which he handled the classified documents that reached President Donald Trump.


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