Meanwhile, comments from the White House, where Porter's 29-year-old girlfriend, Hope Hicks, is director of communications, have been all over the lot.
Though Porter was not recognized widely outside the White House, he was an increasingly powerful figure in the West Wing, responsible for controlling all the documents going to Trump's desk, including classified information.
Sanders also said "the president and chief of staff have had full confidence and trust in his abilities and his performance". Trump himself has recently floated potential Kelly replacements with advisers, according to two of the people. One source said the chief of staff had been damaged by calls from Trump allies outside the White House for him to go. "And there's no place for it in this country, there's no place for it in this White House, and the president won't stand for it".
"I walked away from that relationship a shell of the person I was when I went into it, but it took me a long time to realise the toll that his behaviour was taking on me".
The FBI and the White House have some pretty contradictory statements about former White House secretary Rob Porter.
Sanders' new story: The FBI reports had gone to the White House Personnel Security Office, which "had not made a final recommendation for adjudication to the White House". Savarino said the report then is sent to the agency - in Porter's case, the White House- that requested the investigation.
White House officials said that they were first contacted in the summer by the Federal Bureau of Investigation about senior aide Rob Porter's clearance.
But Sanders, diminished by her debunked narrative of the day before, also repeatedly distanced herself from her superiors, giving the impression that she was not fully convinced of the truth of information she was telling the press. Pending further revelations, I'll leave you with a quote from the late, great Kate O'Beirne, pundit emeritus, who used to say, "Never cheat on your mistress".
"Obviously, the press team's not going to be as read-in, maybe, as some other elements at a given moment on a variety of topics", she said at another point.
Trump's comments come as lawmakers on Capitol Hill launched a probe into how Porter was allowed to work at the White House under an interim security clearance despite allegations of spousal abuse.
By the end of the day, the White House had still not answered the key questions about the saga. For instance, Kelly claimed that he acted "within 40 minutes" to dismiss Porter from his post after he learned about the allegations. "He was operating on an interim security clearance".
The train wreck of a press briefing came after FBI Director Chris Wray contradicted a major part of the White House's story at a Tuesday morning Senate hearing.
Porter, who as staff secretary handled all of the documents that made their way to the president, was forced to resign after allegations of abuse by his two ex-wives surfaced, sparking a week of shifting explanations by White House officials about who knew about those claims against Porter and when they knew it. They also said that the investigation was never completed and that they did not know the extent of the allegations against Porter.
The president insisted that Porter has denied the accusations, and he wished Porter a successful career.
But that kind of personal accountability seems highly unlikely for a President whose personal code precludes him from admitting mistakes. He too denied the allegations.
The president also tweeted, without mentioning Porter by name, how awful it is that "Peoples [sic] lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation". Asked whether the White House still maintained Kelly didn't previously know of the allegations, she responded, "I can only give you the best information that I have, and that's my understanding". I mean, other than anyone and everyone connected to Trump? Let's acknowledge the real pain of these women.
And though the chief of staff can be a compelling performer before the cameras, he can also be abrasive - as witnessed when he went after Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Florida, who had complained about Trump's attitude in a call with the widow of La David Johnson, a United States soldier killed in Niger a year ago.