A reprimand for engaging in politics on official accounts shows the importance of distinguishing between official and personal social media.
Last summer, in what seemed like an eternity ago as new scandals and outrage constantly emerge, there was a brouhaha over news outlets treating President Trump’s Twitter posts as official White House statements. Despite a contrary statement from then White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, I still believe Trump’s personal Twitter feed should not be treated as official statements from the White House, and this latest incident shows why.
According to CNN, six White House officials were sent letters of reprimand from Office of the Special Counsel to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington Executive Director Noah Bookbinder for violating the Hatch Act.
The Hatch Act, passed in 1939, prohibits employees in the executive branch of the federal government, except the president, vice-president, and certain designated high-level officials, from engaging in political activity while acting in an official capacity. Most relevantly, the Act allows federal employees to express opinions about candidates and issues, but prohibits them from engaging in political activity while on duty, in a government office, wearing an official uniform, or using a government vehicle.Continue reading “White House Employees Warned About Violating the Hatch Act”