Conway's right to free speech under attack; he won't fire her

Donald Trump ‘Not Going to Fire’ Kellyanne Conway		3,579Getty ImagesCHARLIE SPIERING14 Jun 2019

President Donald Trump said that will not fire top adviser Kellyanne Conway after a government watchdog claimed she violated the Hatch Act, a law that prohibits federal employees from activities that can influence an election.

It came hours before White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she is leaving the Trump administration after a turbulent tenure marked by attacks on the media, dissemination of false information and the near-disappearance of the daily press briefing.

"It looks to me like they're trying to take away her right of free speech", Trump said. Trump said that Conway has a right to answer any questions reporters ask her. "It doesn't sound fair", the Republican president said.

"No, I'm not going to fire her", Trump told Fox News' "Fox & Friends".

"No, I'm not going to fire her, I think she's a terrific person, she's a tremendous spokesperson, she's been loyal, she's just a great person".

Watch above, via Fox News.

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"It is up to the president's discretion and we respect that", he added.

"Others, of all political views, have objected to the OSC's unclear and unevenly applied rules which have a chilling effect on free speech for all federal employees".

Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani also slammed the report, writing on Twitter early Friday: "Applying the Hatch Act to someone appointed as a communicator for the President is an absurd contradiction".

In its conclusion, the OSC said that Conway "has substantial knowledge of the Hatch Act and was previously found to have violated the law by engaging in similar conduct". "As a result, the current Report would serve only to undermine public confidence in OSC and its procedures", a lengthy letter written by Counsel to the President Pat Cipollone to Special Counsel Henry Kerner states.

The White House on Thursday had slammed the report as "unprecedented" and suggested it was politically influenced.

On Thursday, the White House counsel immediately issued a letter calling for the Office of Special Counsel to withdraw its recommendation that Conway be removed - a request the agency declined.



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