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

The White House said on Tuesday that counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayCNN's Cuomo signs on with SiriusXM to host weekday radio show How private sector can fight opioid epidemic The Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world 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 TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency 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 MooreRoy Moore dismisses Kavanaugh accusation: 'So obvious' when claims come 'just days before a very important event' DOJ looking into 'concerning' behavior by employee in Project Veritas video Corey Stewart fires aide who helped bring far-right ideas to campaign: report 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 CummingsGraham to renew call for second special counsel Hillicon Valley: Sanders finds perfect target in Amazon | Cyberattacks are new fear 17 years after 9/11 | Firm outs alleged British Airways hackers | Trump to target election interference with sanctions | Apple creating portal for police data requests House Dems blast GOP for FBI, DOJ 'conspiracy theories' aimed to protect Trump 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.