President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he would stand behind White House advisor and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway after accusations by an influential office that she violated federal law, according to The DailyMail.
“The Office of Special Counsel – a longstanding agency, not Robert Mueller’s now-shuttered team – recommended Conway’s sacking in a report that concluded she abused her position and violated a federal law the prohibits politicking by senior political appointees,” the DailyMail reported.
“No, I’m not going to fire her. I think she’s a tremendous person,” Trump said on “Fox & Friends.”
“Based on what I saw yesterday, how could you do that? They have tried to take away her speech,” he said, seeming to dismiss Conway’s alleged violations as a First Amendment matter.
The president went on to say that he would get a “very strong briefing” about the situation with his 2016 campaign manager, saying that ultimately “it’s called freedom of speech.”
White House attorney Pat Cipollone was tasked with pushing back against The Office of Special Counsel, saying demanding that the OSC retract its 17-page report on Conway that found her guilty of multiple violations of The Hatch Act, the law that bars federal employees from engaging in political activity in the course of their work.
“We ask that you withdraw and retract the report,” Cipollone wrote in the administration’s response according to the DailyMail.
“The independent watchdog agency, run by Trump-appointee Henry Kerner, refused to back down. Kerner told The Washington Post his recommendation to have Conway fired was ‘unprecedented,’” The DailyMail reported.
“You know what else is unprecedented?” he said. “Kellyanne Conway’s behavior.”
The OSC recommended that the president fire Conway:
“Given that Ms. Conway is a repeat offender and has shown disregard for the law, OSC recommends that she be removed from federal service,” the OSC, a federal investigative agency that is in charge of enforcing the Hatch Act, announced in a statement.