Dem: Kelly ‘doesn’t get it,’ should lose job over Porter

Rep. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierOvernight Defense: House to vote on military justice bill spurred by Vanessa Guillén death | Biden courts veterans after Trump's military controversies House to vote on 'I Am Vanessa Guillén' bill Overnight Defense: Trump's battle with Pentagon poses risks in November | Lawmakers launch Fort Hood probe | Military members can't opt out of tax deferral MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday joined the growing chorus of Democrats calling for President TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says president's policy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is 'unwise' Cast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response MORE to fire John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE over his chief of staff's decision to initially defend a White House aide accused of domestic abuse by two ex-wives.

In an interview on CNN, Speier told host Erin Burnett that Kelly "doesn't get it" and should resign or be fired by the president for his handling of White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who resigned this week.

"Absolutely not, absolutely not," Speier said, when asked whether Kelly should remain in the White House. "They were informed by one of [Porter's former] wives last year, they've known about this for at least a year, and frankly what we have here is everybody thought they were going to be able to weather the storm until photographs of one of his wives with a black eye came out last night."

"He doesn't get it, he really doesn't get it," Speier added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kelly has faced criticism from Republicans and Democrats for his handling of the allegations against Porter, who resigned Wednesday after a report in the Daily Mail alleged that he had physically and emotionally abused his two ex-wives.

Porter denied the allegations in a statement, calling them part of a "smear campaign," but he announced his resignation after images of his first wife with bruises on her face surfaced online.

“These outrageous allegations are simply false. I took the photos given to the media nearly 15 years ago and the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described. I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign,” Porter said in a statement.

Some Republicans have defended Kelly during the controversy over his handling of Porter.

“I think Gen. Kelly has done an extraordinary job as chief of staff to President Trump. I think he’s a good man, and sometimes good people make bad decisions," Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said Thursday.