The White House has a staffing problem.
Now, you may have noticed that staffing problem in the decision to hire the now-indicted Mike Flynn as National Security Advisor. You may have noticed it in the decision not to originally fire FBI director James Comey. You may have noticed it in the decision to hire testosterone-addicted self-fellatio-attempting Steve Bannon as White House chief strategist, before firing him. You may have noticed it in the decision to place career ne’er-do-well Reince Priebus in a position of high power. You may have noticed it in the decision to put Sean Spicer in front of cameras, screaming at reporters. You may have noticed it in the firing of conspiracist Rich Higgins. You may have noticed it in the decision to hire once-and-future reality television Omarosa Manigault before loudly tossing her. You may have noticed it from the hirings of Jamie Johnson and Carl Higbie and Tom Price.
Now you’ve noticed it because the White House ignored serious allegations of domestic violence against Trump top staffer Rob Porter. For a year.
According to The Washington Post:
In January 2017, when [White House counsel Don] McGahn learned of the allegations, he wanted Porter to stay put because he saw the Harvard Law-trained Capitol Hill veteran as a steadying, professional voice in the White House, according to people familiar with the matter. His view didn’t change in June when the FBI flagged some of its findings to the White House. Nor did he act in September when he learned that the domestic violence claims were delaying Porter’s security clearance, or in November when Porter’s former girlfriend contacted him about the allegations, according to these people.
Meanwhile, White House chief of staff John Kelly continued to protect Porter because Porter allegedly told him that the allegations were false — and Kelly didn’t really bother to follow-up. So now the White House looks like it was protecting a domestic abuser for over a year.
Some commentators, like Noah Rothman of Commentary, have already pointed out the bunker mentality that persists at the White House and that took root from the very beginning of the presidency. Under constant attack and assault, the White House tends to go full armadillo, curling into an armored ball and attempting to repel all criticism. But that doesn’t work when the criticism is legitimate.
Or perhaps the same campaign and White House that has defended political allies against allegations by women — allegations against Trump himself, against Corey Lewandowski, Steve Bannon, Roy Moore — simply discounts accusations by women of abuse. Which, of course, would be plainly awful.
Whatever the explanation, there can be no justification for what happened in the White House with Rob Porter.