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Kanye West’s White House visit put Sarah Sanders in crosshairs; request for special counsel probe made

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Whereas conservative watchdogs groups like Judicial Watch seek to investigate real crimes, the leftist Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics in Washington seems to prefer stirring up a fuss over nothing.

It’s been less than a year since the watchdog group lost a frivolous lawsuit against President Donald Trump, yet it’s now again trying to target the president’s administration over veritable nothing burgers.

Its latest complaint involves White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who on Thursday shared an otherwise benign photo to her Twitter account that depicted her standing alongside MAGA-hat-wearing rapper Kanye West:

According to CREW, which has a history of exaggerations, this photo amounts to a violation of the HATCH Act, which prohibits employees of the executive branch from using their official government positions to advocate for certain political positions.

“The Hatch Act forbids government employees from using official accounts to tweet out partisan campaign propaganda, including President Trump’s campaign slogan,” CREW explained in a statement Friday, adding that when Sanders tweeted a photo of herself next to West wearing a hat with the president’s slogan on it, she allegedly violated the act.

“This action was directed toward the success or failure of Donald J. Trump, a candidate in a partisan race. By tweeting this post on a Twitter account referring to her official position and that she uses for official business, Ms. Sanders likely engaged in political activity prohibited by law,” CREW added in a letter to the Office of the Special Counsel.

Does this complaint have any merit? While it’ll ultimately be up the OSC to decide, the evidence suggests the answer is a resounding no. West had been at the White House on Thursday for a scheduled meeting with the president, i.e., Sanders’ boss, so of course she snapped a photo with him. Note also that the press secretary’s tweet didn’t contain any overt political messaging.

“Never a dull moment in the @realDonaldTrump White House. Thank you Kanye West!” she’d written as the photo’s caption.

Also keep in mind that the OWS reportedly issued a guidance last March clarifying that employees of the federal branch must not use #MAGA or any other such derivative of the president’s slogan. As is evident from Sanders’ photo, however, she clearly never used the slogan — she merely stood by someone who happened to have the slogan printed on his hat.

These facts might explain why CREW’s latest complaint has not been well received on social media, where the group has been described as everything from “petty” to “braindead.”


CREW has a history of filing Hatch Act complaints against Sanders and really everybody else in the Trump administration. It’s unclear though whether these complaints have ever led to any sort of discipline, though it certainly doesn’t seem like it.

Vivek Saxena


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