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John Kelly discussed resigning, but no formal offer

The White House is denying chief of staff John Kelly has offered to resign."He has not offered to resign," spo...

Posted: Feb. 10, 2018 10:55 AM
Updated: Feb. 10, 2018 10:55 AM

The White House is denying chief of staff John Kelly has offered to resign.

"He has not offered to resign," spokesman Hogan Gidley told CNN.

The White House statement comes as Kelly and other top administration officials are facing questions about why they did not act to remove deputy chief of staff Rob Porter from his position after they found out about allegations that Porter struck his two-ex-wives while they were married.

Senior aides knew for months about the allegations levied against Porter, even as his stock in the West Wing continued to rise, multiple sources have told CNN. Porter denied the allegations but resigned on Wednesday.

Even after the allegations surfaced publicly, sources told CNN that Kelly did not urge Porter to resign or seek to force him out. Instead, the White House released a statement from Kelly praising Porter's character.

It wasn't until the uproar over the allegations grew and more details surfaced that Porter resigned and Kelly put out a second statement expressing concern about the allegations.

On Thursday, deputy press secretary Raj Shah issued a rare admission that the White House could have handled the Porter situation better.

"We all could have done better over the few hours or last few days in dealing with this situation," Shah told reporters Thursday. "But you know this was a Rob Porter that I and many others have dealt with, that Sarah (Sanders) had dealt with, that other officials, including the chief of staff had dealt with. And the emerging reports were not reflective of the individual who we had come to know."

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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