While there is nothing normal or ethical about the Trump White House, some standards must be recognized according to the law. Despite numerous violations of those standards that would have seen any other administration’s officials ousted, some White House officials under Trump have so far retained their positions.
BREAKING: Six Trump White House officials were just reprimanded for violating the Hatch Act following CREW complaints https://t.co/vZQIGz3pvV
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) November 30, 2018
One standard that Trump’s appointees cannot seem to grasp is the Hatch Act, which “limits certain political activities of federal employees, as well as some state, D.C., and local government employees who work in connection with federally funded programs.” Noah Bookbinder, executive director of the Office of the Special Counsel to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, sent warning letter to six Trump administration officials who were found to be in violation of the Hatch Act.
— Law & Crime (@lawcrimenews) November 30, 2018
According to CNN:
‘The six officials are White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah, White House deputy director of communications Jessica Ditto, executive assistant to the President Madeleine Westerhout, former special assistant to the President and director of media affairs Helen Aguirre Ferré, press secretary for the Vice President Alyssa Farah and Office of Management and Budget deputy communications Director Jacob Wood.’
All six were found to be in violation thanks to Twitter activity on their official government accounts, where they used the hashtag “#MAGA” and the phrase “Make America Great Again,” both slogans related to Trump’s 2016 and upcoming 2020 campaigns, as well as linking research completed by the RNC in their tweets.
Six White House officials reprimanded (unclear what that actually entails) for promoting Trump in tweets, which violates the Hatch Act.
Oh also Nikki Haley (was UN ambassador) and Kellyanne Conway (is pointless talking head) were reprimanded previously https://t.co/8Lh64gaI6D
— Charles Arthur (@charlesarthur) November 30, 2018
The Hatch Act prevents this because it “limits certain political activities of federal employees in an attempt to prevent the federal government from affecting elections or operating in a partisan manner [which] includes sending partisan messages from social media accounts used for official government business.”
This is far from the first time Trump’s administration officials have been cited for this particular violation. A notice of a Hatch Act violation was sent to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders after she tweeted a photo of herself with rapper Kanye West, who was wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat in the photo. Kellyanne Conway, who serves as an advisor to the president, was also cited for this violation when she commented on the Alabama elections by endorsing Republican candidates.
Although the notices serve as a warning to cease the activity and warn of further action, only Trump can impose any discipline on those officials who commit these violations. Since ethics aren’t exactly Trump’s strong suit, that’s unlikely to happen.