Watchdog Group Says Sarah Sanders Violated Ethics Rules By Tweeting Photo With Kanye West

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have filed a complaint against White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for a possible ethics violation after she tweeted a photo of herself with rapper Kanye West, who was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.

According to CREW, the photo, which was posted on Sanders’ official government social media account, constituted a violation of the Hatch Act that prohibits government employees using their offices to support or oppose political candidates.

CREW filed their complaint against Sanders with the Office of Special Counsel on Friday and requested the OSC investigate Sanders’ possible violation. Violations can carry up to a $1,000 fine and disciplinary actions such as suspension or termination.

“This action was directed toward the success or failure of Donald J. Trump, a candidate in a partisan race,” CREW wrote in their complaint. “By tweeting this post on a Twitter account referring to her official position and that she uses for official business, Ms. Sanders likely engaged in political activity prohibited by law.”

The tweet wasn’t Sanders’ first violation, or the Trump administration’s, which frequently runs afoul of the Hatch Act.

In August, Sanders was just one of ten White House staffers listed in a complaint filed by CREW for ethics violations. From the White House’s social media director to the first lady’s spokeswomen and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Hatch violations are commonplace in the Trump administration.

“How many investigations and findings of violations are needed until this administration takes action to stop the misuse of government resources for political activity,” said CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder in a statement.

“This administration does not seem to care about what the law says when it comes to ethics issues like using official positions for politics.”

Voters, however, seemed to care a great deal about the recurring violations from the Trump administration.

And some still held out hope that the administration would be held accountable.

Though others were not as optimistic.

From the Trump administration’s lead spokesperson, this is far from acceptable behavior.

H/T – HuffPost, The Hill


Written by Dennis Matthew Livesey

Matt is a writer, designer, and native New Yorker. He has worked in film, where he enjoyed a brief career as a stand-in for Ian Holm; finance, where he pretended to understand his job, and real estate, where nothing remarkable happened. He writes about science, technology, and media. His work includes magazine articles, one published book, and the looming inevitability of the second.