Lawmakers are questioning how much the White House knew about the abuse allegations before they came to light.
The now-former staffer worked in the White House for a year despite not qualifying for permanent security clearance, likely due to the reports by his ex-wives. And, rather than circling the wagons after the F.B.I. director spoke, a number of White House officials appear to have blabbed to reporters about what a mess Kelly has made of things.
"I think it's fair to say that we all could have done better over the last few hours or last few days in dealing with this situation", said White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah. Two of Porter's ex-wives accused him of physical abuse, and told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents that he could be susceptible to blackmail.
Kelly is "a big fat liar", one anonymous staffer told The WashingtonPost.
If there are problems with the applicant, the personnel office alerts the White House counsel's office, who would in turn communicate with the White House chief of staff.