Watchdog recommends firing White House adviser
by Harvest Prude
Posted 6/14/19, 10:37 am
WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump rebuffed a federal watchdog agency’s recommendation that he fire White House counselor Kellyanne Conway for violating the Hatch Act, which limits political activity by government workers. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel sent a letter to the president Thursday saying Conway violated the law on numerous occasions by disparaging Democratic candidates in her official capacity during media interviews and on social media. The OSC is unrelated to special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.
“As a highly visible member of the administration, Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions,” the letter said. “Her actions erode the principal foundation of our democratic system—the rule of law.”
Trump said during a interview Friday on Fox & Friends that he would not fire Conway. “No, I’m not going to fire her, I think she’s a tremendous person, tremendous spokesperson,” the president said. “They have tried to take away her speech and I think you’re entitled to free speech in the country.”
In an official 11-page memo released Thursday, White House counsel Pat Cipollone accused the OSC of making “unfair and unsupported claims against a close adviser to the president.”
Following the news, House Democrats announced a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on June 26 with the OSC to discuss the report and its recommendations. The committee also plans to invite Conway to attend the hearing.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.