U.S. congressional panel probes White House on Porter abuse accusations: chairman

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Gowdy received the support of House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said Wednesday morning that the White House "has work to do" to fix the vetting process and that the White House should "absolutely" condemn domestic violence.

The White House's story about who knew what when about accusations of domestic violence against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter has been anything but clear.

"The chronology is not favorable for the White House", Gowdy said of reports the Federal Bureau of Investigation repeatedly told Republican President Donald Trump's administration about the allegations and warned that Porter should not be given access to sensitive information.

White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter (L) reminds U.S. President Donald Trump he had a bill to sign after he departed quickly following remarks at his golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey U.S., August 12, 2017. "You can call it official, you can call it unofficial, those words don't mean anything to me". McGahn told Kelly last fall there was concern about information in the background investigation involving Porter's ex-wives, the official said, and Kelly expressed surprise that Porter had previously been married.

The weeklong fallout from the allegations against Porter has thrown the West Wing into chaos not seen since the earliest months of the administration and has sparked new rounds of recriminations inside the White House.

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'What did you know, from whom did you hear it?' Gowdy said.

'Who knew what when and to what extent - those are the questions that I think ought to be asked.

In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Porter's ex-wife Colbie Holderness said Conway's comment "implies that those who have been in abusive relationships are not strong".

Both of Porter's ex-wives said they were interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in January 2017, shortly after his appointment as staff secretary, and they each reported their abuse allegations to investigators. Joni Ernst told CNN about a report that the White House arranged for Porter to defend himself privately to reporters after the allegations surfaced.

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