White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday she was telling the truth about the process of checking into former aide Rob Porter's background after FBI Director Christopher Wray appeared to contradict her timeline in Senate testimony.
Wray said Tuesday that the FBI gave the White House the final results of its background check in July, before being asked to conduct further review. Wray said the FBI gave the White House a second report in November.
Sanders said on Monday that, as of last week, "the White House had not received any specific papers regarding the completion of that background check."
Porter, formerly White House staff secretary, resigned last week after two ex-wives accused him of domestic abuse. The women said they first spoke to the FBI in January 2017.
Some said Wray's testimony contradicted Sanders' comments from Monday. But when asked at the Tuesday White House briefing who was telling the truth, Sanders said that "both" she and Wray were, and clarified that the White House was also waiting for the White House's personnel security office to finish its review of Porter.
Sanders said that office was given the FBI's reports, but did not relay the information to political staff, and never made a final recommendation.
"The White House personnel security office, staffed by career officials, received information last year and what they considered to be the final background investigation report in November, but they had not made a final recommendation for adjudication to the White House because the process was still ongoing when Rob Porter resigned," Sanders said.
"In the view of personnel security office, the FBI's July report required significant additional investigative field work before personnel security office could begin to evaluate the information for adjudication," she added.
Sanders said she does not believe any senior White House official asked the FBI to conduct further review in July, but added, "I can't say with 100 percent certainty."
The White House has pushed back on reports that White House counsel Don McGahn and chief of staff John Kelly knew for months about the abuse allegations.
Phone calls to the White House Personnel Office were not answered, and a White House switchboard operator said the office had not set up its voicemail.