Donald Trump has so many scandals going right now, it’s difficult to keep track of them all. Many of his scandals are now overlapping and cascading, causing additional scandals as the days get longer for him. It’s bad enough for Trump that he’s trying to fend off a Russia scandal, an obstruction of justice scandal, and an infidelity scandal, among other things. Now he’s also facing a National Security Council scandal.
As the past week has gone on, the Rob Porter domestic violence scandal has taken all kinds of disturbing turns. First it was revealed that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly knew about Porter’s history, and sought to cover it up instead of doing the right thing. Then Trump publicly took Porter’s side, creating a whole new mess. Then we found out that Porter never could get permanent security clearance because of his past, and that he was kept on the job even after his interim clearance had expired. Now it’s gotten even worse.
Trump’s National Security Council also knew about the Porter situation, including the fact that Porter was working without the proper security clearance, and it apparently did nothing about it. CNN reporter April Ryan put it this way on-air on Tuesday: “It’s not just about the fact that the FBI had the information, I’m hearing that Personnel Security Office works with the National Security Council along with White House personnel.” (link). In other words, this isn’t just an ugly domestic abuse scandal involving one employee, or even an ugly coverup involving a few political hacks. This is a straight up national security scandal.
Why did Donald Trump and John Kelly and the National Security Council go to such bizarre lengths to protect a relatively unimportant aide like Rob Porter? That question is now the centerpiece of the scandal. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has also been working without the proper security clearance because of his shady involvement in the Trump-Russia scandal. So naturally, these antics all tie back to the Russia coverup.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report