The White House timeline for how the Rob Porter scandal unfolded – including what they knew and when they knew – has been thoroughly debunked by testimony from FBI Director Christopher Wray and extensive CNN reporting.
Top Trump aides, seeking to explain their decision not to immediately take action against senior White House official accused of abusing both his ex-wives, have repeatedly tried to obscure facts about what the White House knew about staff secretary Rob Porter and when they knew about the allegations.
Porter has denied all the allegations against him.
The staff secretary, who has since resigned, was accused earlier this month of abusing both Colbie Holderness and Jennie Willoughby. Holderness, Porter’s first wife, said she was punched in the face by Porter in 2005 and shared photos of the black eye with CNN and other outlets. In an extensive interview last week, Holderness said Porter repeatedly choked her and threw her on the bed while putting his body weight on her using a limb. She revealed that she did not realize the severity of the situation until years into the marriage, when a trained counselor told her Porter’s behavior was unacceptable.
Senior White House aides did not immediately dismiss Porter and claimed that few knew about the allegations against the top aide before the details were published in the media.
Many of those claims were debunked on Tuesday by Wray, the FBI director, who testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that the bureau had made the White House aware of the allegations against Porter throughout 2017 and that their investigation into Porter had been closed in January 2018.
Here – based on CNN’s reporting from more than a dozen sources with knowledge of the Porter fallout and public statements made by top Trump officials – is what Trump’s team actually knew when they were trying to clean up the Porter controversy:
This story has been updated.