White House scrambles to contain Porter fallout

Shah said that Trump did not know of the status of Porter's security clearance.

Shah said that chief of staff John Kelly became "fully aware" of the allegations against Porter on Wednesday and refused to go into specifics when asked if Kelly was "partially aware".

In October, Kelly appeared in the White House briefing room to defend the President in a dispute over remarks he made to the widow of a USA soldier, La David Johnson, who was killed in Niger.

Rob Porter, a top White House aide, resigned Wednesday amid allegations of domestic abuse.

But by Wednesday evening, Kelly issued a new statement. "There is no place for domestic violence in our society", he said in a statement.

Porter's second wife, Jennifer Willoughby, also described for the DailyMail.com how Porter once dragged her naked and wet from the shower to yell at her.

After those images were published, Porter announced his resignation on Wednesday.

Mr Kelly has yet to comment on reports that he knew of the allegations against Mr Porter.

Porter's title understates his importance to the president. He served as a clearinghouse for paperwork coming in or out of the Oval Office, and he was an important influence on policy in his own right.

If it is true that President Trump's Chief of Staff John Kelly covered up Staff Secretary Rob Porter's record of domestic violence then he should resign immediately. But, a year into his job, Porter did not have the permanent security clearance that aides of his rank always have.

Did domestic abuse come up in the Federal Bureau of Investigation background check?

"It's unclear what kind of vetting process was followed in this case", Maloney said in a statement. A day later, her complaint said, Porter entered her apartment with a key he had not given back.

Jennie Willoughby is one of two ex-wives of White House aide, Rob Porter alleging emotional and physical abuse. "I've lost count as to how many Trump appointees have been sidelined due to their past views or conduct".

The allegations against Porter were known to the White House as early as last November, CBS reported, but Porter was allowed to work in his position without a full security clearance, according to the story. The secretary would have access to two computer systems, one classified and the other unclassified, the former official said.

Kelly traveled to the speech with Trump, a tacit acknowledgment that even as the fallout from Porter's departure ensnares the chief of staff, the President remains committed to Kelly. She told the DailyMail.com the same story on February 6 and Porter's first wife Colbie Holderness, 37, came forward the following day with photographs showing a black eye that she claims Porter gave her. The website published a copy of the order.

Colbie Holderness, Porter's first wife, told the Daily Mail that he was "verbally, emotionally and physically abusive, and that is why I left".

She also released a series of photos to the Intercept, showing her with a black eye and a bruised cheekbone after she claims Porter punched her in the face more than a decade ago.

Porter has denied his ex-wives' allegations, calling them "simply false" and suggesting that the photos provided by Holderness misrepresented what actually happened.

In response to the mounting allegations, Trump said "you have to listen to him also" and seemed to suggest having a Democrat in the Senate was a worse outcome than electing an accused child molester.