We all know why Donald Trump has been publicly siding with former White House aide and accused serial wife beater Rob Porter. Trump has his own long history of assaulting women, and he’s defending Porter as a way of defending himself. But that doesn’t address another key question about this scandal: why did Trump, John Kelly and the White House go to such great lengths to try to protect the relatively unimportant Porter and keep him on the job despite his history? It’s not difficult to figure out that this is about Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
Porter couldn’t get permanent security clearance because of the accusations and evidence against him. The White House could have just shoved him out the back door once his temporary clearance expired. The trouble is that Kushner has roughly the same problem. His secret meetings with the Russians, and his failure to disclose those meetings on his security clearance forms, have prevented him from being able to get permanent security clearance.
If the White House dumped Porter for not being able to get clearance, it would have brought attention to Kushner’s own clearance problems. That would have circled back to the Trump-Russia scandal.
Because Donald Trump and his White House are such incompetent villains, the Porter story received even more attention and scrutiny. Porter has resigned, so the story is about to stop being about him, and start being about the failed coverup and the hijinks with security clearances. In other words, this is now a Jared Kushner scandal, and by extension an Ivanka Trump scandal. She failed to disclose Kushner’s meetings on her own security clearance forms. Their White House jobs are now both on the line. Can Donald Trump afford to keep them around? He certainly can’t afford to fire his own family.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report