President Donald Trump asked former White House staff secretary and alleged spousal abuser Rob Porter several times if he’d be willing to become White House counsel last year, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
According to unnamed sources “briefed on the discussions,” Porter told Trump that he didn’t believe he was qualified to be White House counsel.
Trump surprised the current White House counsel, Don McGahn, when he announced Wednesday that McGahn “will be leaving his position in the fall, shortly after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.”
Various reports (and the FBI) have asserted that top White House officials knew about the spousal abuse allegations against Porter in the early months of 2017, and yet allowed him to stay in his job for a year. The White House stonewalled the House Oversight Committee’s attempt to investigate Porter’s ability to work under an interim security clearance while the allegations were known by his colleagues.
Porter finally resigned in February after a photo of one of two ex-wives who alleged abuse emerged showing her with a black eye.
After Porter’s resignation, the New York Times reported that Trump was still in touch with Porter and that he wished Porter could return to the White House.