Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) called out White House Chief of Staff John Kelly Sunday for his reported handling of allegations of domestic abuse against a former White House aide.
“I think in the end, we have got to hear from John Kelly as to what he knew and we haven’t heard that directly from him yet,” Christie said on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday. “This is about competence. And you have to, as chief of staff, be able to competently run the place.”
Kelly came under fire last week after former White House aide Rob Porter resigned when allegations of domestic abuse from two of his ex-wives became public Tuesday. Kelly reportedly already knew about the allegations after Porter’s background check clearance was stalled when his two ex-wives, Jennifer Willoughby and Colbie Holderness, told the FBI about their allegations of abuse.
In his initial statement responding to the allegations, Kelly was fiercely defensive of Porter. It wasn’t until a photo surfaced of Holderness with a black eye — that she allegedly sustained after Porter punched her — that Kelly dialed it back, calling the allegations “shocking.”
On Sunday, Christie called the accusations “credible” and said there was “clearly” a “breakdown in the process” to approving hires.
“So ultimately this is the decision of the White House,” Christie said. “And so depending upon when it was presented, whether it was presented to Chief of Staff Preibus or whether it was presented ultimately (the) first time to Chief of Staff Kelly, along with the White House counsel, they’re the decision-making parties here that present that information to the President. So clearly there was a breakdown in process.”
While Porter has denied the allegations, he resigned from his post at the White House last week. Trump has been publicly defensive of Porter, telling reporters last week that he wished Porter well and tweeting Saturday that “peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by mere allegations.”
Watch the Christie interview below: