Feb 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Watchdog files Hatch Act complaint against Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

An ethics watchdog has filed a Hatch Act complaint against Jared Kushner, saying the president's senior advisor advocated for the 2020 Trump campaign while appearing in his government capacity on CNN last Sunday.

The big picture: In the interview, Kushner discussed Trump's reelection efforts and weighed in on whether the impeachment proceedings have benefited the president politically. The Hatch Act restricts federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity.

What they're saying: “Kushner’s blatantly political behavior while acting in his official capacity is a clear violation of the Hatch Act,” said Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) Executive Director Noah Bookbinder in a news release.

  • Officials at the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Flashback: Last June, the OSC found that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act by "disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in an official capacity during television interviews and on social media," and recommended firing her.

  • Conway ignored a subpoena from the House Ethics Committee to testify in connection with the violations.

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Hope Hicks to return to White House

Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Former communications director Hope Hicks is returning to the White House as counselor to the president, an administration official confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: Hicks was one of President Trump's closest and most loyal aides before she resigned in March 2018, working with Trump dating back to the launch of his campaign in 2015.

NOAA emails reveal internal alarm over Trump's claims about Hurricane Dorian

President Trump gives an Oval Office briefing on the status of Hurricane Dorian, Sept. 4. Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Senior National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials privately slammed an unsigned NOAA statement contradicting forecasters and backing President Trump's claims that Hurricane Dorian was threatening Alabama, documents released by the agency show.

Catch up quick: The National Weather Service's Birmingham office tweeted in early September that Dorian would have no impact on Alabama, contradicting tweets by the president. A few days later, NOAA released an unsigned statement asserting that there was a 20% chance of the storm hitting Alabama.

Raising Bernie as Bernie rises

Trump supporters demonstrate against Sanders, April 15, 2019, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders has surged to the front of the polls ahead of Monday's Iowa caucuses. And some of Trump's political advisers say they are doing their best to help him stay there.

Behind the scenes: "We're trying to promote the rise," said a Trump adviser. "The campaign has been pumping up the national messaging behind Bernie, pushing out fundraising emails. When you attack his policies, it gets the media to talk about him."