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Dems send letter probing Kelly, McGahn over Porter allegations

Dems send letter probing Kelly, McGahn over Porter allegations

A group of Democratic senators is asking the White House to provide details on the domestic abuse allegations against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter.

In a letter to White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE and White House counsel Don McGahn, a group of 12 Democrats led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) asked for information regarding other officials who have not yet obtained full security clearances.

The letter came two days after Porter stepped down from his post following allegations that he physically and emotionally abused his two ex-wives and had not been granted a full security clearance despite serving in a position that required him to handle classified information. 

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"We recognize that you and the President have tremendous discretion in deciding whom to hire to work in the White House," the Democratic letter reads.

"However, we are troubled by published accounts suggesting that you decided to hire Mr. Porter despite the fact that he could not get a security clearance and that you were aware of the specific domestic violence allegations made against him."

Among the other lawmakers to sign the letter were Democratic Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSanders: Trump setting 'terrible example' for our children Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa Kamala Harris rallies voters in South Carolina MORE (Calif.), Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthSenate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Hillicon Valley: Facebook deletes accounts for political 'spam' | Leaked research shows Google's struggles with online free speech | Trump's praise for North Korea complicates cyber deterrence | Senators want Google memo on privacy bug Senate Dem: Trump's 'fake, hyperbolic rantings' an insult to real Medal of Honor recipients MORE (Ill.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoKavanaugh tensions linger after bitter fight Chris Cuomo: Presumption of innocence didn't apply to Kavanaugh because it wasn't a court case Lindsey Graham hits Dem senator: 'The Hirono standard is horrific' MORE (Hawaii), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandAffordable housing set for spotlight of next presidential campaign Overnight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Senators seek US intel on journalist's disappearance | Army discharged over 500 immigrant recruits in one year | Watchdog knocks admiral over handling of sexual harassment case Pentagon watchdog knocks top admiral for handling of sexual harassment case MORE (N.Y.), Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoElectric carmakers turn to Congress as tax credits dry up Senate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh Ten years later: Wounds run deep from 2008 crash MORE (Nev.), Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinObama to campaign for Dems in Wisconsin Treasury sets politics aside, admits China isn't a currency manipulator Hillicon Valley: Facebook deletes accounts for political 'spam' | Leaked research shows Google's struggles with online free speech | Trump's praise for North Korea complicates cyber deterrence | Senators want Google memo on privacy bug MORE (Wis.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma — Trump says GOP will support pre-existing condition protections | McConnell defends ObamaCare lawsuit | Dems raise new questions for HHS on child separations Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel US to open trade talks with Japan, EU, UK MORE (Ore.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDNA is irrelevant — Elizabeth Warren is simply not Cherokee The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump seizes on immigrant 'caravan' for midterms | WHCA criticizes Trump for praising lawmaker who assaulted reporter | Trump takes harder line on Saudis Clinton aide: Chances 'highly unlikely' but 'not zero' Hillary will run for president again MORE (Mass.), Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallSenate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Hillicon Valley: Officials warn of Chinese influence efforts | Dow drops over 800 points | Tech stocks hit hard | Google appeals B EU fine | James Murdoch may be heading for Tesla | Most Americans worried about election security For everyone’s safety, border agents must use body-worn cameras MORE (N.M.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSanders: Trump setting 'terrible example' for our children Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa Election Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue MORE (N.J.) along with Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSanders: Trump setting 'terrible example' for our children Gabbard considering 2020 run: report Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa MORE (I-Vt.).

Media reports have indicated that senior White House officials, including Kelly and McGahn, knew about the allegations against Porter for months. 

The episode has also prompted concerns about other White House officials who have been allowed to work for a prolonged amount of time on interim clearances.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that dozens of Trump administration officials still lack permanent security clearances more than a year into Trump's presidency.

Among those working on only an interim clearance is President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats slide in battle for Senate Trump believes Kushner relationship with Saudi crown prince a liability: report Christine Blasey Ford to be honored by Palo Alto City Council MORE's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump believes Kushner relationship with Saudi crown prince a liability: report The Memo: Trump in a corner on Saudi Arabia Saudis say journalist killed in ‘fight’ at consulate; 18 detained MORE, the Post reported.