President Donald Trump revealed Friday that he will not fire senior adviser Kellyanne Conway over repeated Hatch Act violations.
“No, I’m not going to fire her,” Trump told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” “I think she’s a terrific person, she’s a tremendous spokesperson, she’s loyal, she’s a great person … Based on what I saw yesterday, how could you do that?”
The Office of the Special Counsel released a report Thursday recommending Conway be fired for repeatedly violating the Hatch Act, a statute that prevents federal employees from engaging in certain political activity. (RELATED: Federal Watchdog Recommends Kellyanne Conway Be Fired)
“As a highly visible member of the Administration, Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions,” the OSC said.
Trump said the recommendation is an attack on Conway’s “right of free speech,” adding that it is “not fair.”
“You ask them a question, you ask a person a question, and every time you are supposed to say I can’t answer, I can’t answer? I mean, she’s gotta have the right of responding to questions. It really sounds to me like a free speech thing,” Trump asserted. “A person wouldn’t be able to express themselves and I just don’t see it.”
The White House previously defended Conway in a statement released shortly after the OSC recommendation, wherein they also pointed to Conway’s right to free speech.