The Post frisks Sanders regarding the Porter affair: This morning's Washington Post contains the latest extremely strange news report about the Rob Porter affair.
Why was Porter still at work until recent weeks without a security clearance? On Tuesday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders offered this explanation:
According to Sanders, the FBI had sent its various reports to the White House Security Personnel Office, an obscure office staffed by career personnel, not by Trump appointees. For background, see this report.
According to Sanders, that office was still conducting its investigation when the Daily Mail ran its recent report about Porter's apparent misconduct. The FBI's reports hadn't reached major players like McGahn and Kelly.
Were these claims by Sanders actually accurate? Rather than try to find out, cable news and major newspapers blew right past her claims. No one asked the staffers in the White House Security Personnel Office if her claims were accurate. No one asked the FBI where they sent their reports.
No one did this basic reporting. On cable news, our favorites simply began shouting "Lies."
This morning, the Post published a rather lengthy report about this very matter. But how weird! Reporters Gearan and Wagner interviewed all sorts of former officials from past administrations, seeking their views of the plausibility of Sanders' claims. But there is no sign—zero; none—that they attempted to speak to anyone who would have direct knowledge of what actually happened.
Specifically, there is no sign that Gearan and Wagner asked anyone in the actual White House Security Personnel Office about the accuracy of Sanders' claims. There is no sign that they have asked anyone at the FBI if Sanders' claims could be true.
To whom did the FBI deliver its reports? Did those people pass the information along to the major players who are getting trashed about Porter' retention—to Don McGahn or John Kelly?
The Post devotes 1243 words to this specific topic today. But there is no sign that Gearan and Wagner attempted to speak to anyone who would have direct knowledge of what actually occurred.
Watching our major news orgs perform creates an endless puzzle. This morning's lengthy report in the Post is as odd as reporting can be.
That said, we now advance, for the second time, one hypothesis about what might have happened. What makes us think that this isn't the way things went down?
Don McGahn told Donald J. Trump that Porter had apparently engaged in domestic violence. Trump said he didn't care.That isn't what Sanders has said, of course, but she only know what she's told. Is there any obvious reason to doubt that that could be what happened?
"Go pound sand," Trump specifically said. Porter remained at the White House.
Is that why Porter stayed on the job? Like you, we have no way of knowing. But we've seen no one on cable news ponder this possibility. They're having big fun with Kelly/McGahn. Who cares what really occurred?
Who cares what really occurred? Based on this morning's peculiar report, not the Washington Post!