WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the federal government’s background checks (all times local):
FBI Director Christopher Wray is providing new details that call into question the White House timeline leading up to the departure of former staff secretary Rob Porter.
Wray tells senators that the FBI administratively closed its file on Porter, who was operating under a temporary security clearance, in January, a month before he departed amid domestic abuse allegations. Wray says the FBI provided information to the White House on Porter in November, “then earlier this month we received some additional information and we passed that on as well.”
Wray is declining to elaborate on what information was passed on to the White House.
The White House has repeatedly said that Porter’s “background investigation was ongoing” when he resigned his position, and that the first the White House learned of the allegations against him was last Tuesday.
The Trump administration’s intelligence chief says the government’s background checks system is “broken” and must be completely overhauled.
Dan Coats’ assessment came in a telephone interview with The Associated Press as questions swirl about a top White House aide who maintained access to highly sensitive information and the president himself despite accusations of domestic violence.
Rob Porter, who as staff secretary handled the president’s paper flow, resigned last week.
Coats said, “We have a broken system and I think everybody’s come to agree with that now.”
Coast said the government needs to “basically start with a clean sheet,” using new technologies to weed out those who shouldn’t be in government, but in a way that “doesn’t leave us with hundreds of thousands waiting to be looked at and certified.”