Watch: White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah briefs reporters

(The briefing is slated to start at 3:15 p.m. ET. Please check back if it doesn't appear right away.)

White House press secretary Raj Shah briefed reporters on Thursday afternoon, as the White House worked to contain a growing scandal over former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who resigned on Wednesday.

Porter's resignation followed the publication of allegations by Porter's two ex-wives, who both allege that Porter beat them during their marriage. TheDailyMail.com first reported on the allegations, which included graphic photos of Porter's first wife with a black eye.

White House chief of staff John Kelly repeatedly defended Porter's character on Wednesday, even as reports emerged that the White House knew about the allegations against him.

Shah's first formal briefing from the White House lectern also comes as financial markets continue to swing wildly, and on Thursday, fell more than 500 points by early afternoon. President Donald Trump warned investors Wednesday that selling amid a strong economy was a "mistake."

Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, House and Senate lawmakers raced to finalize and pass a massive two-year spending deal to fund the government and avert a government shutdown that would be triggered at midnight Friday if the chambers fail to pass a spending bill.

The deal, announced Wednesday, has the support of the president and the White House, but it was unclear Thursday afternoon whether House Republicans would have enough votes within their caucus to pass it without requiring help from Democrats.


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