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Trey Gowdy: The House Oversight Committee is investigating the White House over Portergate

Between this and his defense of Bob Mueller, Gowdy’s clearly decided to make some noise as he saunters towards the exit from Congress.

Gowdy was asked on CNN’s “New Day” if his committee would launch an investigation into Porter’s employment at the White House and at what point the administration was made aware of the allegations against him. “We did last night,” he responded.

“You can call it official. You can call it unofficial,” Gowdy said. “I’m going to direct questions to the FBI that I expect them to answer. And if they don’t answer them, then they’re going to need to give me a really good reason.”

Porter is already roadkill but a House investigation of who knew what and when about the domestic violence accusations against him is obviously bad news for John Kelly and potentially very bad news for Jared Kushner. The committee’s interest in Porter, I’d bet, has less to do with the abuse claims from his ex-wives and more to do with the security breach involved in letting a man without a permanent clearance operate in close quarters with the president. How many other top aides are viewing top-secret material without a permanent clearance, Gowdy’s committee will want to know? And the answer is “at least one.” That would be the princeling Jared, whom the FBI still doesn’t trust enough to clear. And who, apparently, is getting more vulnerable to blackmail as his time in the White House wears on:

An update to Ivanka Trump’s financial disclosure report reveals that she and her husband, Jared Kushner, have taken on millions of dollars in additional debt over the past year, Politico reported Tuesday.

Trump’s updated disclosure form shows that Kushner appears to have tapped three different lines of credit since he began working at the White House.

The changes up the couple’s debts from a range of $19 million to $98 million to being valued at between $31 million and $155 million, according to Politico.

Gowdy already fired off a letter to John Kelly this morning demanding answers on Porter, which you can read here. Note how many times in the interview below he nudges CNN and other media to keep up the public pressure on the White House, knowing how difficult it is for his committee to get answers from the executive branch sometimes. The less interested the Republican base is in the Porter clusterfark, the more likely Trump and Kelly will be to stonewall Gowdy. And all available evidence is that they’re not all that interested, thanks partly to the growing complexity of who knew what and when about Porter but partly too to some sterling gaslighting efforts from the White House itself. I’ve been following the story from the beginning but have had trouble over the past 48 hours keeping the timeline straight on John Kelly’s role. So have some of his own deputies:

Kelly does not enjoy the confidence of an increasing number of his subordinates, some of whom said they believe that the retired four-star Marine Corps general has misled them.

Kelly is “a big fat liar,” said one White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share a candid opinion. “To put it in terms the general would understand, his handling of the Porter scandal amounts to dereliction of duty.”…

When asked if Kelly could have been more transparent or truthful, [another White House] official wrote: “In this White House, it’s simply not in our DNA. Truthful and transparent is great, but we don’t even have a coherent strategy to obfuscate.”

Confused obfuscation makes for great gaslighting, though. In lieu of an exit question, an ominous observation from NYT reporter Maggie Haberman on Kelly’s fate: “The morale was already quite low in the Kelly era for several staff. But this is worse than it’s been since Charlottesville. And after dismissing Kelly dismissal talks as spread by Mooch/others, ppl close to Kelly now realize it’s coming from Trump.”

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