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White House pushes back on concerns Conway violated Hatch Act

The White House on Wednesday pushed back against concerns that Kellyanne Conway had violated the Hatch Act with her comments on the Alabama Senate race.

“Ms. Conway did not advocate for or against the election of a candidate, and specifically declined to encourage Alabamans to vote a certain way," White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah said in a statement.

"She was speaking about issues and her support for the President’s agenda. This election is for the people of Alabama to decide," he said.

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Conway earlier this week spoke out about the Alabama Senate race and Democratic candidate Doug Jones.

“Doug Jones in Alabama, folks, don’t be fooled. He will be a vote against tax cuts. He is weak on crime, weak on borders. He is strong on raising your taxes. He is terrible for property owners," Conway said on "Fox & Friends."

Conway was questioned on whether she was telling people in Alabama to vote for GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers.

“I’m telling you that we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through,” Conway said, calling Jones a “doctrinaire liberal.”

The former director of the Office of Government Ethics on Wednesday said he filed a complaint with a federal watchdog over Conway's comments.

"I have filed a complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which investigates Hatch Act violations," Walter Shaub tweeted Wednesday.

He said Conway conducted the interview in front of the White House and it was "pretty clear she was appearing in her official capacity when she advocated against a candidate."

The Hatch Act "prohibits federal employees from using their official authority or influence to affect the outcome of an election."