The House Speaker did seem tongue-tied at one point, nearly suggesting that he didn't know what Trump had said about Porter, though that is common knowledge, and then switching tacts mid-sentence to refer, instead, to Porter's alleged actions.
The White House continues to stand by Chief of Staff John Kelly despite calls for his resignation.
Former aide Rob Porter worked at the White House for months with a temporary security clearance but recently resigned after news media reports he had abused two ex-wives, which security experts have said would make him vulnerable to blackmail.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the committee had requested information about how Porter's employment and clearance were handled.
"We are directing inquiries to people that we think have access to information we don't have". "I'm going to direct questions to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that I expect them to answer". "You can call it official, you can call it unofficial, those words don't mean anything to me". How do you have any job if you have credible allegations of domestic abuse?
"Absolutely", Ryan replied. "Look, I can't speak for what [Rob Porter] did because I don't even know the answer to that".
"They clearly have work to do to fix their vetting system", he added.
On Tuesday FBI Director Christopher Wray decimated White House talking points that it did not know about the allegations that Porter physically and emotionally abused both his ex-wives. Gowdy said. "The chronology is not favorable for the White House".
"The White House personnel security office, staffed by career officials, received information previous year in what they considered to be the final background investigation report in November", Sanders said.
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