White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre acknowledged Thursday that President Joe Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, violated the Hatch Act, saying they take the provision seriously but are “not perfect.”
“Ron is very careful and takes the Hatch Act very seriously in his media appearances and his use of Twitter, but he made a mistake this time. And he retweeted something that was political. He fixed it as soon as it was pointed out, and take the warning to be very careful,” Jean- Pierre to reporters on Air Force One.
He added: “That’s very different from the previous crew here — clearly in the White House before us — who repeatedly violated the Hatch Act in a blatant, open and reckless manner. We’re not perfect. But our violations have been few and far between.”
Klain was found to have violated the Hatch Act (a law that prohibits government officials from using their work to influence elections). his official Twitter account on May 22, including a message to buy political merchandise from a Democratic group. He removed the comment after hearing about the complaint. There will be no disciplinary action and Klain was warned to be more careful in the future.
“Although the OSC has concluded that Mr. Klain violated the Hatch Act, as described below, we have decided not to take disciplinary action and have instead issued him a warning letter,” according to a statement from the Office of Special Counsel to Conservative America. The first Legal Foundation, filed the initial complaint at the beginning of the summer.
The post retweeted by Klain’s account was about giving away baby formula, but also included a request for Democratic political merchandise, which read: “Bring your Democrats merchandise today!”
As CNN and other news organizations reported at the time, many Trump administration officials violated the Hatch Act during his presidency.