Update (3 pm ET): More than a week after the Rob Porter domestic violence scandal first broke on the evening of Feb. 6, President Trump has finally weighed in, telling a room full of reporters that he is “totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind”.
“I am totally opposed to domestic violence. And everybody here knows that. I am totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind. Everyone knows that. And it almost wouldn’t even have to be said, so now you hear it, but you all know it.”
And as always, his delivery had that patented Trump touch…
WATCH: President Trump: “I am totally opposed to domestic violence. And everybody here knows that. I am totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind. Everyone knows that. And it almost wouldn’t even have to be said, so now you hear it, but you all know it.” pic.twitter.com/8pECavsbyZ
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 14, 2018
…He left the room without saying anything about the fate of Chief of Staff John Kelly, which is presumably an optimistic sign for the former marine general…
* * *
It looks like the White House is standing by its man…
Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday during an event sponsored by Axios said that, while the White House “could’ve done a better job” handling the Rob Porter domestic abuse scandal, Chief of Staff John Kelly has, all in all, done a “remarkable” job.
“John Kelly has done a remarkable job as chief of staff for the president of the United States and I look forward to working with him for many, many months to come,” Pence said at an event sponsored by Axios.
The vice president added that he would offer his advice on the matte directly to the president. Though, when asked outright if Kelly’s explanation that he fired Porter “40 minutes” after learning about the allegations was completely truthful, Pence dodged. Pence also alluded to Kelly’s son, who died during combat in Afghanistan.
“There are very few Americans or American families that have served this country more honorably nor sacrificed more than the family of John Kelly,” he said.
Kelly, of course, insisted on Monday that the Porter situation “was all done right.”
Setting aside all the reports of West Wing staffers (and outside advisers) sharpening their knives at the opportunity to exact revenge on a chief of staff who hasn’t been the most popular guy in the West Wing, it’s understandable why the administration would want to keep Kelly on.
Just imagine how much he knows.
Also, as has previously been reported, the Porter issue has raised doubts about other members of the staff whose security clearances haven’t been granted on a permanent basis yet.
A group that notably includes Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Additionally, Pence reiterated during his remarks that North Korea is the “most oppressive and tyrannical regime” on the planet and that the country must relinquish its nukes before any kind of deal can be struck – though Pence reaffirmed that the US is open to talks.
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