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FBI director contradicts White House's Porter timeline

FBI Director Chris Wray ...

Posted: Feb 13, 2018 5:54 PM
Updated: Feb 13, 2018 5:54 PM

FBI Director Chris Wray upended the White House's timeline about when it learned of domestic abuse allegations leveled against disgraced aide Rob Porter.

Wray testified Tuesday that the FBI repeatedly briefed the White House on its investigation into the aide last year, despite how the White House has presented their timeline.

The FBI submitted information to the White House on its background investigation into the former White House staff secretary that uncovered allegations of domestic abuse four times before those allegations became public, Wray told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. The FBI director's testimony raises fresh questions about why Porter remained in a senior position after the White House learned of the allegations of domestic abuse leveled by two of Porter's ex-wives to the FBI -- extending a controversy the White House has struggled to shake.

"I can't get into the content of what was briefed to the White House ... 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. That soon thereafter, we received request for follow-up inquiry and we did the follow-up and provided that information in November and that we administratively closed the file in January," Wray said in response to questions from Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Wray added that the FBI "received some additional information" earlier this month and "passed that along as well."

Wray's timeline contradicts the White House's accounting of when it learned of the allegations against Porter and the status of the FBI's background check investigation to determine whether Porter could be granted a permanent security clearance.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders claimed on Monday that the background investigation into Porter was still ongoing when the allegations became public and he later resigned.

"We let the process play out. It was ongoing. It hadn't been completed," Sanders said.

The White House began making that claim last Thursday when deputy press secretary Raj Shah claimed that the FBI's background investigation into Porter was "ongoing."

"His background investigation was ongoing," Shah said. "In this instance, in the case of Rob Porter, we relied on the background check investigative process. That process hadn't been completed, so we were relying on the information that we had."

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short on Sunday also claimed on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the FBI "have not completed that investigation."

As recently as Monday, Sanders also claimed that the White House did not learn "of the extent of the situation involving Rob Porter" until last Tuesday, when the allegations became public.

"We've learned of this situation involving Rob Porter last Tuesday evening," Sanders said.

While Wray declined to say what information was provided to the White House, each of the FBI's updates to the White House came after agents first interviewed at least one of Porter's ex-wives in January 2017, when she claimed Porter had physically abused her.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story mischaracterized Wyden's position on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 16769

Reported Deaths: 803
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds107426
Madison76728
Lauderdale75968
Neshoba72844
Jones70133
Scott66312
Forrest59539
DeSoto57510
Rankin4569
Leake45212
Holmes44330
Copiah3294
Jackson31415
Attala31118
Yazoo2964
Newton2884
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Leflore27736
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Harrison2697
Monroe26925
Wayne2623
Lamar2505
Lowndes2479
Pearl River21231
Pike20411
Adams20316
Washington1987
Warren19610
Lee1948
Noxubee1936
Covington1792
Bolivar16911
Jasper1674
Clarke15619
Smith15511
Kemper15511
Lafayette1544
Chickasaw14014
Coahoma1314
Clay1254
Winston1241
Carroll11911
Marion1169
Claiborne1155
Lawrence1071
Grenada1074
Simpson1040
Yalobusha1046
Sunflower923
Tate911
Hancock9012
Union897
Itawamba897
Marshall873
Wilkinson859
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Montgomery841
Webster844
Jefferson Davis823
Tippah7611
Calhoun674
Amite661
Walthall640
Humphreys637
Tunica583
Prentiss533
Perry513
Choctaw502
Pontotoc473
Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Greene331
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie301
George292
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19073

Reported Deaths: 672
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2321118
Jefferson1901104
Montgomery185843
Tuscaloosa83616
Marshall7089
Franklin5858
Lee56234
Shelby52819
Tallapoosa43466
Butler42118
Walker3862
Elmore3749
Chambers36026
Madison3534
Unassigned3062
Morgan3021
Baldwin2939
Dallas2923
Lowndes26512
Etowah26312
DeKalb2573
Autauga2415
Coffee2391
Sumter2287
Houston2265
Bullock2176
Pike2120
Colbert1902
Hale1859
Russell1810
Barbour1771
Marengo1756
Lauderdale1722
Calhoun1673
Wilcox1577
Choctaw15310
Cullman1521
Clarke1492
St. Clair1351
Randolph1287
Dale1240
Marion12411
Pickens1205
Talladega1195
Limestone1080
Chilton1071
Greene954
Macon934
Winston910
Jackson833
Covington821
Henry822
Crenshaw783
Bibb761
Escambia753
Washington736
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Geneva440
Perry430
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Lamar280
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