Update: Minutes after the Axios report, former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci came out swinging on Twitter: "Based on FBI testimony, WH Chief of Staff John Kelly almost certainly knew about credible allegations of domestic abuse against Rob Porter at least 6 months ago - then recently forced others to lie about that timeline. Inexcusable. Kelly must resign."
Based on FBI testimony, WH Chief of Staff John Kelly almost certainly knew about credible allegations of domestic abuse against Rob Porter at least 6 months ago - then recently forced others to lie about that timeline. Inexcusable. Kelly must resign. https://t.co/ydt7dmD7xs— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) February 13, 2018
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As we detailed earlier, just as we anticipated not two hours ago, it appears White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is on the verge of an unceremonious exit from the White House after FBI Director Christopher Wray publicly contradicted Kelly's account of when he learned about former White House aide Rob Porter's history of spousal abuse.
Axios reports that Chief of Staff John Kelly's White House enemies are ready to use FBI Director Chris Wray's testimony as a weapon to drive a knife right into his back (figuratively speaking, of course).
Kelly and his allies insist they knew nothing about the domestic violence until the Daily Mail published a story about it involving two of Porter's ex-wives, who decided to come forward and go public with their stories.
Kelly initially defended Porter, before suggesting that Porter misled Kelly to get the positive statement. (Porter denies this and tells associates he gave Kelly a full picture of what would be in the story, though he denied the allegations of more serious abuse).
Kelly said he acted immediately in terminating Porter "within 40 minutes" of learning last Tuesday night what would be in the story. However, it was later reported that Porter officially left Wednesday morning.
Kelly's firing, should it occur, would come at a time when the New York Times is reporting that the turnover rate at the White House is an unprecedented 34%. Meanwhile, Trump has struggled to fill vacant positions - something the press has ascribed to his unwillingness to hire anybody whom he perceives to be disloyal.
Several other administration officials, including OMB Director Mick Mulvaney (also now Trump's man at the CFPB), according to media reports.
Trump has yet to weigh in...but we shall keep our eyes peeled as the so-called disciplinarian of the West Wing - a reputation that always reportedly bothered Trump - who was responsible for the ousters of so many of those before him is, himself, shown the exit.
Kelly took over from the first Trump administration chief of staff, Reince Preibus, after Preibus was reportedly pushed out by Anthony Scaramucci in July.
Ten days later, after being appointed to the role and chafing at the idea of having a communications director who didn't report to him, Kelly did Scaramucci.