February 8, 2018

Jake Tapper led off his show with an intense discussion about Rob Porter, the White House, John Kelly, continuing yesterday's theme of highlighting "one of the ugliest scandals in the White House so far." Today's discussion was quite long, but this was definitely a highlight.

Tapper first rolled a clip from the just-concluded White House press briefing where Raj Shah tried to deal with the Rob Porter fallout.

In a lame attempt to have it both ways, Shah admitted to Jim Acosta that the White House "could have done better over the last few days in dealing with the situation, BUT..."

The "BUT" was jaw-dropping. "But this was a Rob Porter that I and many others had dealt with, that Sarah had dealt with, that other officials including the Chief of Staff had dealt with, and the emerging reports were not reflective of the individual who we had come to know."

"The idea that he was not running around the White House punching women in the face, that it makes it surprising to them to learn he's a domestic abuser reveals quite a tremendous amount of ignorance about what domestic abusers look like," Tapper scoffed. "They look like everyone -- every man. and some women as well."

Well, thank you, Jake Tapper. It seems like women are only believed when they produce something like photographs or other evidence because the man doesn't look like an abuser, whatever that means.

Here's a Twitter thread about that.

I can also testify. They are everywhere. In professional occupations, in law enforcement, everywhere. They're usually charming people, outgoing and beloved at parties. But behind closed doors, you'd better shape up and fly right or wear the bruises the next day.

The unsaid truth in Raj Shah's admission is this: Even when the FBI told them why they would not be granting Porter a security clearance, they ignored the reason because they did not believe the women. They chose instead to believe the charming abuser.

Jen Psaki touched the edges of that fact during her commentary, too.

"Ultimately, this is not about FBI process or background checks," she said. "This is about whether John Kelly and Donald Trump think it's okay to have an abuser in the White House, and they do."

Exactly. It was easy enough for them to set aside two ex-wives and an ex-girlfriend's claims of abuse until they simply couldn't anymore because of public pressure. And even now, John Kelly would be fine keeping Porter there, were it not for the public pressure.

Spare us all of the rest of the excuses. None of them matter.

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