White House adviser Kellyanne Conway is, apparently, in no mood to discuss her alleged violations of the Hatch Act. MSNBC White House reporter Eamon Javers added this terrific little insider’s tidbit to the latest Conway controversy.
“I was just standing in an office in the WH press office when Kellyanne Conway came in,” Javers tweeted today. “I asked for her reaction to this. She pointed to the door and said ‘can you leave, please?’ Later, I asked her again, and she said: ‘I have no reaction. Why would I give you a reaction?'”
News broke this morning that the U.S. Office of Special Counsel – an independent government agency unrelated to the Mueller investigation – is recommending that Conway be removed from her job for repeated violations of the Hatch Act. (The Hatch Act bars federal workers from engaging in partisan politics.)
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According to the OSC, Conway has repeatedly disparaged Democratic presidential candidates “while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.”
The OSC’s letter continues: “Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions. Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system — the rule of law.”
White House deputy press secretary Steven Groves dismissed the OSC’s reasoning as “deeply flawed” and a violation of Conway’s “constitutional rights to free speech and due process.”
Given that the president has the final say over Conway’s employment fate, her indignant non-response to MSNBC’s Javers is unsurprising. Last month, when asked about the Hatch Act by White House reporters, Conway responded, “Blah, blah, blah. If you’re trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it’s not going to work. Let me know when the jail sentence starts.”
A sampling of today’s social media response, from pundits, politicos and a couple celebs:
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