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

The White House said on Tuesday that counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayKellyanne Conway knocks Biden, talks up Sanders in Wash Post op-ed Democrats sharpen case on second day of arguments 'Emotion' from Trump's legal team wins presidential plaudits 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 TrumpSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation 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 MooreThe 5 most vulnerable senators in 2020 The biggest political upsets of the decade GOP predicts bipartisan acquittal at Trump impeachment trial 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 CummingsBaltimore unveils plaques for courthouse to be named after Elijah Cummings GOP leaders encourage retiring lawmakers to give up committee posts Pelosi taps Virginia Democrat for key post on economic panel 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.