Dozens of Trump officials lack full security clearance


White House chief of staff John Kelly has reportedly said he would be willing to step down over the way he handled the accusations of abuse leveled at former staff secretary Rob Porter, who resigned Wednesday over the allegations, the New York Times reported Friday.

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.

She was forced to take out a temporary protective order in 2010 to keep Porter away from her.

- Nanette D. Barragán (@RepBarragan) February 9, 2018Even after photographic evidence of #RobPorter's abuse emerges, @realDonaldTrump says nothing about the women who have been harmed - and stands by his recently resigned staffer. "He is a friend, a confidante, and a trusted professional".

Mr Kelly himself faced criticism for initially defending his aide - only to later shift course after the publication of photos showing one of Mr Porter's ex-wives with a black eye. Kelly also denied the reports.

There is also the question of when Kelly knew of the allegations against Porter.

In October, Charles Phalen, the director of the National Background Investigations Bureau, told lawmakers he has "never seen that level of mistakes" when asked about numerous omissions in Kushner's security clearance application. Instead of a house of cards, Trump put together a house of predators, and one by one those predators are being exposed and removed from the White House.

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Porter has denied the allegations against him saying, in a statement that, "These outrageous allegations are simply false". He told the Post that Corbett was abusive toward him.

On Wednesday evening, Kelly issued a second statement about the allegations.

About three dozen Trump administration officials - including first son-in-law Jared Kushner - are working in the White House without full security clearances. Shah also said Kelly was not terminated, and is still chief of staff.

"It's fair to say we all could have done better over the last few hours or last few days in dealing with this situation", said White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah on Thursday. ABC News has not spoken with Sorensen nor with his ex-wife, Jessica Corbett, who, according to the Washington Post, said she reported his behavior to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during their background check of the speechwriter.

"The difference between 690,000 and 1.8 million were the people that some would say were too afraid to sign up, others would say were too lazy to get off their asses, but they didn't sign up", Kelly said, according to reporters who were there.

Donald Trump has said that a former aide accused of domestic abuse by two ex-wives did a "very good job" at the White House.

A number of politicians criticised Mr Kelly, and a leading women's group called on him to resign.