White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act on two occasions, The US Office of Special Counsel (OSC) announced Tuesday, CNN reports. The agency said Conway “impermissibly mixed official government business with political views about candidates in the Alabama special election.”
The violations occurred during two television appearances in 2017, one on Fox News’s “Fox and Friends,” and one on CNN’s “New Day.”
Appearing in her official capacity, Conway endorsed and advocated against political candidates, the OSC said, referring its findings to President Trump “for appropriate disciplinary action.”
“While the Hatch Act allows federal employees to express their views about candidates and political issues as private citizens, it restricts employees from using their official government positions for partisan political purposes, including by trying to influence partisan elections,” OSC says in its report, according to CNN.
“Ms. Conway’s statements during the “Fox & Friends” and “New Day” interviews impermissibly mixed official government business with political views about candidates in the Alabama special election for U.S. Senate.”
During the “Fox & Friends” interview November 20, Conway was introduced by the show’s hosts as a “counselor to President Trump” and spoke from White House grounds. She said about Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones: “Folks, don’t be fooled. He’ll be a vote against tax cuts. He’s weak on crime, weak on borders. He’s strong on raising your taxes. He’s terrible for property owners.”
During the “New Day” interview December 6, Conway — again speaking from White House grounds and introduced by CNN anchor Chris Cuomo as “counselor to President Trump” — said among other things that Jones will be a reliable vote “for tax hikes,” “against border security,” “against national security,” “against the Second Amendment” and “against life,” according to the OSC report.
Conway went on to tell Cuomo that Jones is “out of step for Alabama voters, according to the President,” and that Trump “doesn’t want a liberal Democrat representing Alabama in the United States Senate.”
The OSC report stated that Conway received “significant training” on the Hatch Act and possible violations. The agency says it gave Conway, a former GOP pollster who served as Trump’s campaign manager, the opportunity to respond as part of its report, but she did not.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.