“If you hate Kelly, this is your moment. Hope’s enemies are using it to go after her.”

Trump and Kelly have had a series of conversations in recent days that two White House officials described as “very turbulent.” The president is upset with his top aide — as well as with White House Communications Director Hope Hicks — for not being more transparent with him about the allegations against Porter and for their botched public relations push to defend him, according to four officials.

Kelly and his loyal deputies have been “frantically trying to stop the bleeding,” according to one West Wing staffer, who, like the others interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly describe the chaos. ­Kelly’s efforts at damage control included instructing senior aides at a Friday morning meeting to communicate that he had taken action to remove Porter within 40 minutes of learning that abuse allegations from both of Porter’s ex-wives were credible, according to two senior officials. That account contradicts the administration’s public statements and other private accounts…

Aides described a resulting level of dysfunction not experienced behind the scenes at the White House since the early months of Trump’s presidency. Dormant ­rivalries have come alive, with suspicions swirling about some of the most senior officials and the roles they apparently played in protecting Porter.