Kelly asks WH staff to say he took 'immediate and direct action' on Porter: report

White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE has instructed senior staff to say that he took "immediate and direct action" after learning that the allegations of domestic abuse against staff secretary Rob Porter were credible, according to The Washington Post.

Kelly reportedly told the senior staff to relay what he said on Friday to subordinate staff and that he cares about combatting domestic violence. 

Aides told the Post they are concerned that Kelly's account is untrue, as it appears to contradict past statement on the matter from White House officials. 


One of Porter's two ex-wives, Jennifer Willoughby, told the Daily Mail that she went through physical and emotional abuse when she was married to Porter. 

Kelly and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Porter in the Daily Mail story. Kelly called him "a man of true integrity and honor."

But after that story was published, The Intercept published its own story on Porter in which a second ex-wife, Colbie Holderness, also alleged abuse. The story featured a picture of Holderness with a bruised eye that she said she suffered when Porter hit her in 2005.

Porter denies the allegations.

The White House announced Porter's resignation on Wednesday.

Kelly issued a statement on Wednesday saying he was shocked by the new allegations

"I was shocked by the new allegations released today against Rob Porter. There is no place for domestic violence in our society,” he said in a statement. 
Multiple reports Thursday stated that Kelly first learned of the accusations against Porter last year, but took no action. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that White House counsel Don McGahn had first informed Kelly of the abuse allegations against Porter last fall.
The allegations prevented Porter from receiving a full security clearance. Multiple people in the White House were aware of the allegations before they were reported by media, according to reports.