Dec 1, 2018

4. Government watchdog: 6 Trump staffers violated Hatch Act by tweeting #MAGA

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Office of the Special Counsel reported Friday that six Trump staffers have violated the Hatch Act by tweeting out Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again" or #MAGA, on their official Twitter accounts.

Details: The act is intended to prevent federal employees from using their positions to influence election outcomes, and those who violate the act may be fined up to $1,000 and terminated or suspended. The staffers have since received warning letters about the violations.

  1. Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah
  2. Deputy Director of Communications Jessica Ditto
  3. President Trump’s Executive Assistant Madeleine Westerhout
  4. Vice President Pence’s Press Secretary Alyssa Farah
  5. Office of Management and Budget's Deputy Communications Director Jacob Wood
  6. Former Special Assistant to the President and Director of Media Affairs Helen Aguirre Ferré

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Marc Short. Screenshot: Fox News

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House has not received intelligence that Russia is seeking to help President Trump win re-election, calling it "false information" that has been selectively leaked by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

The big picture: Short and national security adviser Robert O'Brien both dismissed reports published in the Washington Post and New York Times last week about a briefing provided by top election security official Shelby Pierson, an aide to outgoing acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire.

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Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.

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Jim Clyburn with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that Sen. Bernie Sanders' identification as a democratic socialist may be an "extra burden" in down-ballot House races if he were to win the Democratic nomination.

Why it matters: Clyburn's comments echo fears from many establishment Democrats, who worry the House majority they won in 2018 by taking moderate seats carried by President Trump could be at risk with Sanders at the top of the ticket.