February 13, 2018 / 8:25 PM / 6 months ago

White House defends security clearance process on ex-aide Porter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Tuesday defended its handling of the background check for a former top aide accused of domestic abuse by two ex-wives despite contradictory comments by the head of the FBI earlier in the day.

FILE PHOTO: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly walks with White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter to depart with U.S. President Donald Trump aboard the Marine One helicopter from the White House in Washington, U.S. November 29, 2017. Picture taken November 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters at a daily briefing that its personnel security office had not finished making a recommendation on Rob Porter’s security clearance even though the Federal Bureau of Investigation had finished its investigation.

FBI Director Christopher Wray earlier on Tuesday told lawmakers the agency completed its background check in July, contradicting the White House’s earlier assertion that investigations into Porter had not yet been completed.

Reporting by Steve Holland, Lisa Lambert and Mohammad Zargham; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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