White House pushes back: Conway did not violate the Hatch Act

The White House said on Tuesday that counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayMerriam-Webster provides meanings of 'yes' and 'no' after Trump's Russia comment Trump campaign Virginia chairman asks question in White House briefing Watchdog: First lady spokeswoman may have violated Hatch Act with ‘MAGA’ tweet MORE did not violate the Hatch Act after the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) told the Trump administration she was found in violation.

"Kellyanne Conway did not advocate for or against the election of any particular candidate. She simply expressed the president's obvious position that he have people in the House and Senate, who support his agenda," deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement. 

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"In fact, Kellyanne's statements actually show her intention and desire to comply with the Hatch Act — as she twice declined to respond to the host's specific invitation to encourage Alabamans to vote for the Republican," he continued referencing an interview Conway did on Fox News.

The OSC found that Conway violated the Hatch Act on two occasions and referred its findings to President TrumpDonald John TrumpIran claims it rejected Trump meeting requests 8 times ESPY host jokes Putin was as happy after Trump summit as Ovechkin winning Stanley Cup Russian ambassador: Trump made ‘verbal agreements’ with Putin MORE "for appropriate disciplinary action."

The Hatch Act prohibits those working in the executive branch from using their official capacities to advocate for or against political candidates.

The OSC said the violations took place during two 2017 television appearances on the Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends" and on CNN's "New Day" in which she was discussing the Alabama Senate race.

Conway on "Fox and Friends" ripped then-Democratic nominee Doug Jones as "weak on crime" and "weak on borders," before declining to specifically endorse Republican candidate Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreRoby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism Once a Trump critic, Ala. rep faces runoff with his support Doug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee MORE when asked.

“So, vote Roy Moore?” Fox host Brian Kilmeade interjected.

“I’m telling you that we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through,” Conway responded referring to the tax-reform bill that ended up being passed and signed into law.

Conway went even further on CNN, saying President Trump "doesn't want a liberal Democrat representing Alabama" in the Senate.

Democrats seized on the news on Tuesday.

House Oversight Committee ranking member Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsDem lawmaker calls on House to subpoena American translator from Trump-Putin meeting Hillicon Valley: Trump denies Russian meddling at presser with Putin | Republicans join in criticism of Trump | FCC chief rejects Sinclair-Tribune merger | Uber faces probe over gender discrimination | Social media execs headed to Capitol Overnight Energy: Koch backs bill opposing carbon taxes | Lawmakers look to Interior budget to block offshore drilling | EPA defends FOIA process MORE (D-Md.) said the administration should punish Conway.

“The President must take swift and serious disciplinary action against Ms. Conway. Anything else sets a terrible example," Cummings said.