White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Thursday refused to answer questions about the consequences, if any, she would face for violating the Hatch Act by using her government office in a political capacity.
But she said her discretion could be the reason “why I’m still there [in the Trump administration] and will continue to be — I’m not there to read about myself.”
The Office of Special Counsel, a permanent investigative and oversight agency, announced Tuesday that Conway had twice violated the Hatch Act in interviews about the special election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat in Alabama. In the television appearances, she advocated for then-Republican candidate Roy Moore and against then-Democratic candidate Doug Jones, improperly using her office to engage in political activity, the office said.
In an interview with Conway Thursday, which was flagged by Politico, Fox News’ Bill Hemmer asked whether she would face any consequences for the violations, a decision ultimately up to President Donald Trump.
“The President and I have spoken about this,” Conway replied. “I have not made a comment on this at all and I won’t today.”
She noted that the White House had already responded to the Office of Special Counsel — press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that Conway “simply expressed the President’s obvious position specific to policy, that he have people in the House and Senate who would support his agenda” — but refused to offer further detail.
“I won’t reveal my private conversations with the President about anything except that which he would like me to speak about publicly, including steel and aluminum,” she said, asked what the President wanted to happen next.
“So no punishment given?” Hemmer probed.
“I didn’t say that,” Conway responded. “I just said that we’ve spoken about this, but I also recognize every single day — maybe that’s why I’m still there and will continue to be — I’m not there to read about myself.”
Conway was previously “counseled,” according to then White House press secretary Sean Spicer, after she endorsed Ivanka Trump’s products from the White House briefing room.