FBI Contradicts White House on Porter Background Check

The Washington Post/The Washington Post

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday appeared to contradict the Trump administration’s claims about the background investigation into a former White House staffer who left the administration last week amid allegations of domestic violence.

Various outlets have reported that the FBI alerted the White House to the allegations of domestic violence made against former staff secretary Rob Porter by two ex-wives and an ex-girlfriend before those allegations were made public last week. The administration has said in its defense that Porter’s background check was incomplete at the time of his ouster, and that they wanted to allow the FBI to finish its investigation before passing judgement on Porter.

But Wray’s account of the FBI’s communications with the Trump administration, told to the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday, seemed to differ from the White House’s.

“What I can tell you is that the FBI submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in March, and then a completed background investigation in late July,” he said, noting that the FBI “followed the established protocol” with Porter.

“Soon thereafter we received requests for follow-up inquiry and we did the follow-up and provided that information in November. And then we administratively closed the file in January,” he continued. “And then earlier this month we received some additional information and we passed that on as well.”

White House spokesperson Raj Shah told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday, describing the White House’s position, that Porter’s background check “had not been completed yet. It was still in the investigative process and had yet to be adjudicated. So prior to an adjudication, the White House is not going to step into the middle of a process and short circuit it.”

This post has been updated.

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