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The White House has come under fire for its handling of domestic violence allegations against now-departing Staff Secretary Rob Porter.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly in particular has come under scrutiny for initially defending Porter in a statement on Wednesday.

"Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor and I can't say enough good things about him. He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him," the statement read.

After the uproar grew and Porter announced he was stepping down, Kelly released a second statement.

"There is no place for domestic violence in our society. I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that I have come to know since becoming Chief of Staff, and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation," the statement read.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told reporters Thursday that Kelly became “fully aware” on Wednesday of the "serious and disturbing" allegations that Porter abused both of his ex-wives.

Porter, a top aide to President Donald Trump, has vehemently denied the allegations, but is expected to be out of the White House as early as Thursday.

On "Special Report," Jonah Goldberg said Kelly's initial defense of Porter is indicative of the "bunker mentality" at the White House.

"These guys feel besieged. There are all these allegations that come up - a lot of allegations that turn out not to be true," Goldberg said, pointing to Michael Wolff's controversial book.

"His immediate instinct is, 'I'm in a foxhole with this guy. I rely on him. And I'm just going to come out guns blazing to defend him,'" he said.

Watch more above.


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