Trump Says Congress Shouldn’t Prioritize Gutting ‘Unfair’ Ethics Watchdog

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January 3, 2017 10:22 a.m.
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President-elect Donald Trump wondered in a pair of tweets posted Tuesday morning if Congress should be focusing on weakening the Office of Congressional Ethics as its “number one act and priority.”

Trump called the OCE “unfair,” but questioned its prioritization compared to “tax reform, healthcare, and so many other things of far greater importance.”

Speaking to reporters on a conference call Tuesday morning, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the tweets’ meaning was “pretty simple.”

“It’s not a question of strengthening or weakening,” he said. “I think it’s a question of priorities and the president’s belief is that with all that this country wants and needs to have happen this really shouldn’t be the priority.”

On Monday night, the House Republican Caucus voted to weaken the OCE’s independence and place it back under the authority of the House Ethics Committee, which is controlled by party leaders.

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