FBI Director Christopher Wray: Department Briefed White House on Rob Porter Security Clearance Problems

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies on worldwide threats during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, February 13, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

FBI Director Christopher Wray confirmed during his testimony at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday that his department had concluded its background check of Staff Secretary Rob Porter, despite claims from the White House that the investigation was ongoing.

“His background investigation was ongoing,” deputy press secretary Raj Shah told reporters last week after Porter resigned. “He was operating on an interim security clearance. His clearance was never denied, and he resigned.”

But during his testimony, Wray revealed that the department had completed a background investigation in July 2017.

“What I can tell you is that the FBI submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in March and then a completed background investigation in late July,” Wray said in the Senate hearing.

He added that requests for follow-up information were completed in November and that the FBI had closed Porter’s file in January 2018. He also confirmed that information about Porter was sent to the White House in February 2018.

Wray’s testimony raises more questions about White House chief of staff Gen. John Kelly’s knowledge of Porter’s clearance and the domestic abuse allegations against him.

White House sources continue to leak damaging details of Kelly’s response to the incident — six days after Porter’s resignation.

The incident has raised doubts about Kelly’s future at the White House, despite White House officials’ assertions that President Trump has no plans to replace Kelly and that Kelly has offered to resign as a result.

At the White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders acknowledged that the FBI had completed the investigation in January, but defended the previous comments from the White House noting that the White House Office of Presidential Personnel was still reviewing Porter’s case when he resigned.