Mulvaney: WH response to Porter resignation was "completely reasonable and normal"

White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says the White House's reaction to the resignation of President Trump's former staff secretary Rob Porter was "completely reasonable and normal." Porter departed his West Wing role amid allegations that he abused his ex-wives.

"I don't think we have a lax attitude. I think what you saw happened this week, Major, was completely reasonable and normal," Mulvaney told CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

Mulvaney added, "Up until the time that it became obvious when the photographs came out that the person was not being honest with the president. And that person -- after that happened, we dismissed that person immediately so that's an ordinary and very human reaction to the set of circumstances." 

The Daily Mail first reported that Porter's second ex-wife filed an emergency protective order against him and that he blackened the eye of his first wife. Mulvaney explained that Porter "wasn't entirely forthcoming" with the president and that photographs of the alleged abuse "took everybody by surprise."

During an impromptu Oval Office meeting on Friday, the president said the White House wished Porter well, noting that it was a "tough time" for the White House aide. He made no mention of the women in his comments, which were prompted by a reporter's question.

The White House, which was aware of the allegations against Porter months before they came to light, is now under fire for its handling of the controversy. The president, however, said he "found out about it recently and I was surprised by it."

Mr. Trump meanwhile commended Porter for doing a "very good job when he was in the White House" but noted Porter's repeated claims of innocence.

"I think you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday that he's innocent. So you'll have to talk to him about that. But we absolutely wish him well. Did a very good job while he was at the White House," said Mr. Trump.

Mulvaney said Mr. Trump was "let down by somebody who he trusted somebody who he put in a place of authority and then wasn't told the truth."

For months, Porter had access to and screened the most sensitive information for the president, doing so with an interim security clearance instead of a permanent clearance. A year after his employment by the White House began, Porter's background check was still ongoing at the time of his resignation.

Mulvaney says despite the latest shakeup and criticisms that chief of staff John Kelly dropped the ball on Porter's past, the Trump West Wing "continues to function. It functions well."

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital