February 13, 2018 / 8:44 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.

White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter (L) arrives aboard Air Force One with fellow senior staff and U.S. President Donald Trump for a summer vacation at his Bedminster estate, at Morristown Airport in Morristown, New Jersey, U.S. August 4, 2017. Picture taken August 4, 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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