The FBI Director was asked today about Rob Porter’s security clearance today in the House Intelligence Committee hearing. In his response, Director Wray would not go into details about the contents of the reports given to the White House on Rob Porter’s background, but he did suggest that they gave their first report on Porter last march and then completed their background investigation last July, which seemingly contradicts the White House’s statement:
DAILY MAIL – FBI director Christopher Wray said Tuesday that the White House was given four separate reports about disgraced former aide Rob Porter’s security clearance investigation – with the first heads-up coming 11 months ago.
The bombshell development could put White Houe Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House Counsel Don McGahn on the hot seat as they face new questions about what they knew and when they knew it.
Responding to a question from Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Wray spelled out the process in which the bureau ‘briefed’ the White House while Porter was operating with a temporary clearance and had access to some of America’s most closely held secrets.
‘The FBI submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in March, and then a completed background investigation in late July,’ Wray said, adding that ‘soon thereafter we received requests for [a] followup inquiry, and we did the followup and provided that information in November.’
Wray added that the FBI ‘administratively closed the file in January,’ directly contradicting the White House’s account.
‘Then earlier this month we received some additional information and we passed that along as well,’ he said.
He also declared that ‘in this particular instance the FBI followed established protocol.’
The news that the FBI’s background check was completed and the file closed last month flies in the face of what the White House has publicly said.
‘In the case of Rob Porter, we relied on the background check investigative process. That process hadn’t been completed, so we were relying on the information that we had,’ White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah told reporters last Thursday.
Here’s the actual video of the exchange:
NEW: FBI Dir. Wray says FBI completed background investigation into former White House staffer Rob Porter last July, contradicting administration’s claims that the security clearance process was ongoing when Porter resigned last week. pic.twitter.com/CK1oCdo0oz— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 13, 2018
Either we’re not exactly understanding what the FBI Director is saying here, perhaps because of his vagueness, or something isn’t adding in with what the White House has communicated about when they knew about Porter’s abuses. It sounds like the latter and that’s what the media is taking away from it.
UPDATE: This isn’t good:
— Brooke Baldwin (@BrookeBCNN) February 13, 2018
MINOR UPDATE: Apparently the Daily Mail had this last week:
Daily Mail reported this last week, so no, not breaking. https://t.co/RlH03P8aGx— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) February 13, 2018