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White House official says Florida shooting was a reprieve


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Just days after 17 people were senselessly murdered at a Florida high school, a White House official has said the tragedy was a ‘reprieve’ after back-to-back of scandals in the West Wing.

‘For everyone, it was a distraction or reprieve,’ the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Washington Post. 

‘A lot of people here felt like it was a reprieve from seven or eight days of just getting pummeled.’ 

For about a week it seemed like the Trump administration couldn’t get a break. 

First it was revealed by DailyMail.com that domestic abuse allegations against senior aide Rob Porter were ignored. It was also revealed that Porter was dating White House aide Hope Hicks. 

Nikolas Cruz, 19, accused of killing 17 Wednesday when he opened fire on his former high school

Just days after 17 people were senselessly murdered at a Florida high school, a White House official has said the tragedy was a ‘reprieve’ after back-to-back of scandals in the West Wing

'For everyone, it was a distraction or reprieve,' the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Washington Post. Pictured above two girls cry after the viewing service for one of the 14 children killed

‘For everyone, it was a distraction or reprieve,’ the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Washington Post. Pictured above two girls cry after the viewing service for one of the 14 children killed

None of the numerous scandals none of that seemed to matter when 19-year-old gunman Nikolas Cruz entered his former high school in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday and killed 17 people, including 14 children. Cruz is pictured in court on Monday

None of the numerous scandals none of that seemed to matter when 19-year-old gunman Nikolas Cruz entered his former high school in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday and killed 17 people, including 14 children. Pictured is Cruz in court on Monday

Then it was found that two cabinet secretaries – Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt – were caught charging taxpayers for their luxury travels. 

And finally, a Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal alleged that she had a three-year extramarital affair with Trump in 2006, just after marrying Melania. The claim came just weeks after it was alleged that Trump had sex with porn star Stormy Daniels in July 2006, and that his lawyer paid her $130,000 in hush money just before the 2016 election.

But none of that seemed to matter when 19-year-old gunman Nikolas Cruz entered his former high school in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday and killed 17 people, including 14 children. 

First it was revealed by DailyMail.com that domestic abuse allegations against senior aide Rob Porter were ignored. It was also revealed that Porter was dating White House aide Hope Hicks. Porter is pictured on February 5

First it was revealed by DailyMail.com that domestic abuse allegations against senior aide Rob Porter were ignored. It was also revealed that Porter was dating White House aide Hope Hicks. Porter is pictured on February 5

Colbie Holderness

Jenny Willoughby

Porter allegedly physically abused his two former wives – Colbie Holderness and Jenny Willoughby

Tuesday, before the shooting, rumors spouted that Kelly could be at risk of losing his job in a matter of days, maybe even hours, due to how he handled the Rob Porter scandal

Tuesday, before the shooting, rumors spouted that Kelly could be at risk of losing his job in a matter of days, maybe even hours, due to how he handled the Rob Porter scandal

The White House official said that the tragedy forced the administration to focus on more serious issues, like consoling the victims and trying to heal the nation, instead of ‘trivial West Wing drama.’  

‘But as we all know, sadly, when the coverage dies down a little bit, we’ll be back through the chaos,’ the official said. 

Republican strategist Michael Steel echoed those feelings to the Post. 

‘From an awful, cynical, purely political point of view, the tragic events in Florida probably helped the White House this week by distracting from the awful wave of scandal and bad news they have faced,’ Steel said.  

Kelly and White House Counsel Donald McGahn still haven't said what they knew about the allegations that Porter (pictured with his alleged mistress Hope Hicks) domestically abused his two ex-wives, when they knew it or why they declined to act until DailyMail.com broke the story two weeks ago.

Kelly and White House Counsel Donald McGahn still haven’t said what they knew about the allegations that Porter (pictured with his alleged mistress Hope Hicks) domestically abused his two ex-wives, when they knew it or why they declined to act until DailyMail.com broke the story two weeks ago.

Just after the shooting, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was already planning to address the news media from the briefing room about his role in the mishandling of the domestic abuse allegations against Rob Porter, the former staff secretary.  

Tuesday, before the shooting, rumors spouted that Kelly could be at risk of losing his job in a matter of days, maybe even hours. 

But after the tragedy, the embattled Chief of Staff actually traveled with the president to Mar-a-lago for the long weekend. 

That brief hiatus has given the White House time to solidify their stances on the major scandals, which are sure to resurface in the media in a matter of days. 

Republican Strategist Ron Bonjean told the Post that the tragedy in Florida ‘turned the page’ on the scandals. 

‘They’re going to come back,’ he explained. ‘But what it does do is give the White House a chance to collect itself and, if they can, organize a communications strategy and get their ducks in a row.’   

For example, on Friday Kelly released a five-page memo outlining changes to the security clearing process. This will hopefully silence questions about the process, but could raise another potential problem about the fact that Jared Kushner still does not have clearance.

The VA inspector general said in a report last week that Shulkin (pictured early February) doctored an email and made false statements to create a pretext so the government would use taxpayer dollars to pay for his wife's 10-day trip to Europe in 2017

The VA inspector general said in a report last week that Shulkin (pictured early February) doctored an email and made false statements to create a pretext so the government would use taxpayer dollars to pay for his wife’s 10-day trip to Europe in 2017

Pruitt (pictured February 12), on the other hand, has attracted scrutiny over his pricey first-class travel, domestic and international. He was forced to cancel a trip to Israel amid the attention last week

Pruitt (pictured February 12), on the other hand, has attracted scrutiny over his pricey first-class travel, domestic and international. He was forced to cancel a trip to Israel amid the attention last week

But there are still a lot of things that officials in the White House have to get their heads around. 

For example, it is still not clear how the White House will handle the Rob Porter scandal.

Kelly and White House Counsel Donald McGahn still haven’t said what they knew about the allegations that he domestically abused his two ex-wives, when they knew it or why they declined to act until DailyMail.com broke the story two weeks ago. 

The public accounts issued by the White House after the articles were published differed from sworn testimony by FBI Director Christopher A Wray last week, something which White House officials will no doubt have to explain away. 

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has also opened an investigation into the White House’s handling of the Porter allegations. 

Additionally, the White House has yet to say much publicly about the travel expenditures of cabinet secretaries Shulkin and Pruitt. 

The VA inspector general said in a report last week that Shulkin doctored an email and made false statements to create a pretext so the government would use taxpayer dollars to pay for his wife’s 10-day trip to Europe in 2017. 

The report also said he improperly accepted Wimbledon tickets and brought along a government aide as his ‘personal travel concierge.’ 

Pruitt, on the other hand, has attracted scrutiny over his pricey first-class travel, domestic and international. He was forced to cancel a trip to Israel amid the attention last week. 

Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal alleged that she had a three-year extramarital affair with Trump in 2006, just after marrying Melania

This came out just weeks after it was revealed that Trump and Stormy Daniels allegedly had an affair in July 2006

Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal alleged that she had a three-year extramarital affair with Trump in 2006, just after marrying Melania. This came out just weeks after it was revealed that Trump and Stormy Daniels allegedly had an affair in July 2006

And finally, ousted senior aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman continues to bash West Wing officials during her appearances on the reality TV show 'Celebrity Big Brother'

And finally, ousted senior aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman continues to bash West Wing officials during her appearances on the reality TV show ‘Celebrity Big Brother’

And on top of all of that, on Friday special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russians who attempted to spread disinformation before, during and after the 2016 presidential election

And on top of all of that, on Friday special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russians who attempted to spread disinformation before, during and after the 2016 presidential election

Former Playboy model McDougal also told the New Yorker last week that she had an affair with Trump starting in 2006. 

This came just after the news that an attorney for Stephanie Clifford – whose porn star name is Stormy Daniels – said the dancer is now free to talk about her alleged affair with Trump. Her lawyers said that Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen violated their nondisclosure agreement by acknowledging that he’d paid her $130,000. 

Daniels has now announced a national tour between now and November, and will make appearances all over the country. 

And finally, ousted senior aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman continues to bash West Wing officials during her appearances on the reality TV show ‘Celebrity Big Brother.’ 

And on top of all of that, on Friday special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russians who attempted to spread disinformation before, during and after the 2016 presidential election. 

Trump addressed this briefly on his Twitter on Saturday – but the issue is sure to come up as soon as press coverage of the Florida shooting dies down.    



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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