White House taps interim replacement for aide accused of abuse

White House taps interim replacement for aide accused of abuse
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The White House late Friday announced an interim replacement for a senior aide who resigned this week after being accused of spousal abuse.
Deputy staff secretary Derek Lyons will take over for Rob Porter, who resigned as White House staff secretary Wednesday after two of his ex-wives went on the record in multiple media outlets to accuse him of physical abuse.
As acting staff secretary, Lyons will be responsible for handling sensitive material and deciding, along with chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, what makes it to the president's desk for review.
The Porter controversy has consumed the White House, with Kelly under fire for initially defending Porter against the allegations and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders praising him from the briefing room this week even after pictures surfaced of one of Porter’s ex-wives with a black eye.
And there are questions about why Porter was granted a temporary security clearance to handle classified information after the FBI informed the White House about the allegations against him.
President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE spoke glowingly of Porter on Friday, telling reporters that “he worked very hard” and “we wish him well.” The president noted that Porter has denied the allegations.
"He says he's innocent, and I think you have to remember that,” Trump said. “He said very strongly yesterday that he's innocent. So you'll have to talk to him about that. But we absolutely wish him well."
Friday’s announcement of Porter’s interim replacement came with a slew of other staff moves.
Kelly’s top aide, White House counsel Jim Carroll, who sources tell The Hill was involved in overseeing the security clearance process, will leave the West Wing to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
John DeStefano, the director of presidential personnel, has been promoted to assistant and counselor to the president.
Hogan Gidley, a deputy press secretary, will also serve as a special assistant to the president.