President Donald Trump issued a statement on Friday in which he said that he would not fire his adviser, Kellyanne Conway, despite the office of Special Counsel’s recommendation that she be removed from federal service for several violations of the Hatch Act, as he was talking on “Fox and Friends’’ on Fox News.
“No, I’m not going to fire her. I think she’s a terrific person. I got briefed on it yesterday and it looks to me like they’re trying to take away their right of free speech. And that’s just not fair. She’s got to have the right of responding to questions,’’ said Trump.
These comments came after the US Office of Special Counsel recommended that Conway be removed from federal service, saying that she violated the Hatch Act on numerous occasions. They also said that Conway made a mistake by “disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.’’
On Friday, Trump said that he is going to brief on this further later in the day.
“I’m going to get a very strong briefing on it. I’ll see. But it seems to me to be very unfair, it’s called freedom of speech,’’ said Trump.
Special counsel Henry Kerner wrote a letter to Trump on Thursday in which he said:
“Ms. Conway’s violations, it 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. If Ms. Conway were any other federal employee, her multiple violations of the law would almost certainly result in her removal from her federal positions. Never has the office had to issue multiple reports to the President concerning Hatch Act violations by the same individual.”
According to CNN, a separate statement from the Office of the Special Counsel issued alongside the report said that “given that Ms. Conway is a repeat offender and has shown disregard for the law, the office recommends that she be removed from federal service.’’