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Pence says he's "appalled" by Rob Porter allegations

Pence says he's

WASHINGTON-John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, told officials in the West Wing on Friday that he was willing to step down over his handling of allegations of spousal abuse against Rob Porter, the staff secretary who resigned in disgrace this week over the accusations, according to two officials aware of the discussions.

White House chief of staff John F. Kelly and Staff Secretary Rob Porter follow President Trump as he walks to board Marine One on November 29.

"He also as you probably know says he is innocent and I think you have to remember that". The same day, back in Washington, D.C., President Trump praised Porter, saying he and the White House "wish him well" in his career, and pointing to Porter's claims of innocence.

This is a developing story and will be updated. It's obviously a tough time for him, ' Trump said.

Shah also conceded the crisis could have been better handled by senior White House officials.

Porter's former wives recounted physical, verbal and emotional abuse they say he subjected them to during their marriages.

It is unclear exactly how many White House officials are still operating with interim security clearances and incomplete background checks, but at least one-high profile administration member definitely is - President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser to the president Jared Kushner.

White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told CNN that Kelly has not offered his resignation.

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Allegations against ousted staff secretary Rob Porter prompted a litany of questions about the president's recruitment and the ethics of those running the world's only superpower.

The president said "it was very sad when we heard about it" and added that Porter is "also very sad". But their public support for Porter quickly evaporated, once a photo surfaced showing one of his ex-wives with a black eye.

US President Donald Trump answers questions during a meeting with Don Bouvet, who has been battling cancer in the Oval Office of the White House, February 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. At the time, he called Porter a "man of integrity and honor" and even said he was "proud to serve alongside him".

Christie told ABC News in a Wednesday podcast that Porter's name never came up when he was in charge of Trump's transition team.

But for White House staff, protected privacy may not cover all the information unearthed during the background check as the process consists of two separate reviews - one for clearance and one for suitability, Zaid said.

Shah refused to confirm in detail when and how Chief of Staff Kelly in particular became aware of the claims.

When news first broke that Porter had abused both his first wife Colbie Holderness and his second wife Jennifer Willoughby, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly's initial statement on the matter was shockingly dismissing given the serious nature of the allegations against his employee. "The reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described", he said in a statement announcing his resignation.