Trump 'not actively looking' to replace Kelly

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner listens during a meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at the White House in Washington. The family real estate company once run by presidential adviser J

The president's tweet Saturday came a day after he set off a firestorm when he wished Porter well in his future endeavors and made no mention of his alleged victims. Deputy White House press secretary Raj Shah said Hicks later "recused" herself from some aspects of the matter.

The White House insisted Sunday that Donald Trump was "shocked and disturbed" by allegations of domestic abuse that led two staffers to resign, after the president faced flak for saying lives were being ruined by possibly false claims.

Putting aside the obvious problem with that statement, it seems that the administration can't figure out what message they want to send about domestic violence. "John Kelly is doing an outstanding job".

But Mulvaney said it was a "very human reaction" for Trump and Kelly to give Porter the benefit of the doubt.

Trump has gone out of his way to defend Rob Porter - despite photographic evidence of the violent abuse Porter inflicted on one of his ex-wives and testimony from another, as well as an ex-girlfriend - as well as former speechwriter David Sorensen.

"Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by mere allegation".

On Sunday, Trump had nothing further to say about the staff turmoil.

"Why shouldn't women reasonably wonder if this White House doesn't have a lax attitude when it comes to the question of domestic abuse?" After Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was arrested and charged with assaulting a female reporter, Trump asked, "How do you know the bruises weren't there before?"

That was a reference to allegations by more than a dozen women that Trump had sexually abused or harassed them.

"That dynamic leaves many simply unwilling to consider the possibility that he has engaged in acts of violence, and when people aren't willing to imagine that, the easiest thing to do is disbelieve the woman making these allegations", Martin said. "I think he believes that the resignation was appropriate".

Spokesman Raj Shah said the White House learned Thursday night about the allegations before being contacted by the media.

"Well, there is no way for me to know what those two men knew, because I'm not in that line, and nor should I be, " she replied.

"I think that talk about the chief's departure is much ado about nothing", he said on "Fox News Sunday".

But Trump has grown frustrated with Kelly, once commended for bringing discipline to the West Wing but who recently has been at the center of his own controversies. By early fall of 2017, it was widely known among Trump's top aides - including chief of staff John Kelly - that Porter was facing troubles in obtaining his security clearance and that his ex-wives claimed he had abused them. In addition to Mulvaney, the others are House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Mark Meadows and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

In a meeting on Friday, Kelly encouraged subordinates to spread the word that he'd removed Porter within 40 minutes of receiving evidence on February 6 that the spousal abuse allegations, first reported by the United Kingdom newspaper the Daily Mail, were credible, said a person familiar with the matter.

"As soon as Rob Porter was proven wrong, it was proven he was not telling the truth when the photos came out on Wednesday, he was gone nearly immediately", Mulvaney said. Hicks has become one of Trump's closest confidants, and while the president has groused about her involvement in the Porter flareup, he had not suggested ousting her, according to the two people familiar with his private discussions.

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