Conway mum on White House punishment for Hatch Act violations

Conway mum on White House punishment for Hatch Act violations
© Greg Nash

White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwaySean Spicer joins 'Extra' as 'special DC correspondent' Pat Caddell leaves an indelible mark on the American political landscape Conway casts doubt on whether there will be a Mueller report MORE did not directly answer a question on Thursday about whether she will be punished for the Office of Special Counsel's (OSC) assessment that she violated the Hatch Act twice in two TV appearances.

"The president and I have spoken about this. I have not made a comment on this at all and I won’t today. The White House has spoken and the White House’s counsel’s office," Conway said during an interview with Fox News's "America’s Newsroom."

“I won’t reveal my private conversations with the president about anything except that he would like me to speak about publicly, including steel and aluminum," she added.

"So no punishment given?" asked Fox News's Bill Hemmer.

“I didn’t say that," Conway responded. "I just said that we’ve spoken about this. But I also recognize every single day, and maybe that’s why I’m still there and will continue to be, I’m not there to read about myself. I’m not there to talk about me."

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley on Wednesday denied that Conway had committed a violation of the Hatch Act, which bars government employees from using their position to influence elections, when she spoke about the December special election in Alabama twice on television last year.

"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," Gidley said in a statement.

Gidley's comments followed an assessment from the OSC that Conway improperly used appearances on CNN and Fox News to campaign in support of Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreDoug Jones gets challenger in Alabama Senate race Republican state official faces pushback for comments on Sinema's attire Hillicon Valley: Dem blasts groups behind Senate campaign disinformation effort | FCC chief declines to give briefing on location-data sales | Ocasio-Cortez tops lawmakers on social media | Trump officials to ease drone rules MORE (R) and against now-Sen. Doug Jones (D) ahead of the Alabama special election.

“While the Hatch Act allows federal employees to express their views about candidates and political issues as private citizens, it restricts employees from using their official government positions for partisan political purposes, including by trying to influence partisan elections,” the OSC said in its report.

“Ms. Conway’s statements during the 'Fox & Friends' and 'New Day' interviews impermissibly mixed official government business with political views about candidates in the Alabama special election for U.S. Senate," it added.