John Kelly Calls Rob Porter, Alleged Wife Beater, ‘Man Of Integrity'

Screengrab/The Young Turks/YouTube

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly threw his support behind Porter, even as domestic abuse allegations became public.

After allegations of domestic abuse against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter were made public, Chief of Staff John Kelly gave Porter a glowing review, saying he was a "man of true integrity".

After more details emerged about the alleged abuse, including images of Porter's first wife with a black eye, Kelly changed his tune and said he was "shocked" by the latest allegations.

But Kelly knew about the protective order against Porter for months before his resignation. The order was standing in the way of Porter receiving full security clearance.

Two sources told CNN later on Wednesday that Kelly, as well as other senior White House staffers, had been aware of the allegations for months.

It’s unknown if Kelly took any action at the time, but on Wednesday he reportedly urged Porter not to resign and wrote a glowing review of the alleged abuser.

Kelly said on Wednesday that Porter "is a man of true integrity and honor and I can’t say enough good things about him. He is a friend, a confidante, and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him.”

Those sentiments were echoed by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders:

“Rob Porter has been effective in his role as Staff Secretary,” Sanders said in her statement. “The President and Chief of Staff have full confidence in his abilities and his performance.”

Following subsequent media reports, including images of Porter's first wife with a black eye, Kelly feigned shock that Porter could have done such things:

“I was shocked by the new allegations released today against Rob Porter,” Kelly said. “There is no place for domestic violence in our society. I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that I have come to know since becoming Chief of Staff, and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation.”