Rob Porter working for Trump without a security clearance
ROGER CALDWELL | 2/15/2018, 2:16 p.m.
Vetting staff is not important to Trump because he only cares about their loyalty to him. In fact, loyalty is not enough for Trump because one has to be willing to lie for his policies and his statements.
Many of Trump’s personal appointees will call his disregard for laws, and bending the rules, stretching the truth, but many legal minds identify his actions as perjury and obstruction of justice. The fundamental problem with our president is that he refuses to read, and he prefers looking at Fox News and playing golf at his resorts.
When the president of the United States doesn’t know what he’s talking about and refuses to educate himself, Americans should not be surprised that the White House is dysfunctional and the members don’t have any idea of what they are doing.
Initially White House Chief of Staff John Kelly issued a statement at the beginning of last week that the administration was supportive of Rob Porter after a news report broke detailing the domestic violence allegations he was accused of. But once photos were published in the Daily Mail, Kelly issued a contradictory statement taking a firm stance against domestic violence. Wednesday of last week, Porter, White House senior aid, announced his resignation.
Many reporters believe that Trump and many of his high level aides knew as early as September 2017 that Porter could not get a security clearance because of domestic violence claims. Jared Kushner is also working without a permanent security clearance.
Even though these two individuals are working without a permanent federal security clearance, the president can supply them with an interim-security clearance, but the question is raised—how long will they continue to wait for a security clearance? When the White House has been waiting for more than a year for a security clearance, there appears to be a problem in the applicant’s background investigation.
According to Joe DePaolo of Mediaite, “Rob Porter’s official title was White House staff secretary and assistant to the president for policy coordination. Multiple reports peg Porter as having been a crucial gatekeeper, as soon as John Kelly took over as chief of staff. Porter had a crucial role in deciding what reached President Donald Trump’s desk.”
The White House’s comments on Porter’s background check left some lawmakers dissatisfied. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., called Porter “an accused domestic abuser who had access to America’s secrets,” yet was “vulnerable to blackmail and without a background check or security clearance. Chilling lapses in security and background clearance process shown by Rob Porter’s access to classified info.”
There appears to be indifference from the White House concerning federal regulations and laws. This is not something new because Jared Kushner failed to disclose foreign contacts on his security clearance form. Andy Puzder, picked as Trump’s secretary of labor, was forced to withdraw his nomination as a result of decades-old allegations of abuse from his ex-wife.
Last week a second White House aide/speechwriter, David Sorensen, was forced to resign after allegations of physical and emotional abuse from his ex-wife. As things go from bad to worse, questions are being raised about the White House’s vetting system.
Trump continues to support Porter and Sorensen, and the hole he is digging gets larger as more women are upset with his bizarre statements. For some reason, it appears that Trump is always on the side of men because he himself has been accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment of 15 women.
Norm Eisen, a senior fellow at the Brooking Institution who served as White House special counsel for ethics and government reform in the Obama administration and who has been a frequent Trump critic, said, “These issues with vetting reflect the Trump administration’s decisions to play by its own rulebook.”