Kellyanne Conway: Ethical disclosures discourage people from government service

Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway (Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Top White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said Thursday on “Fox & Friends” that having to complete financial disclosure forms demoralizes qualified people from serving in government.

“There are so many qualified men and women who wanted to serve this president, this administration and their country, who have been completely demoralized and completely, I think, disinclined to do so based on the paperwork that we have to put forward divesting assets, the different hoops you have to run through,” Conway said.

Conway’s claim came during her defense of newly appointed White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. He claimed Wednesday night that he had been the victim of a leak, saying that his financial disclosure form had been divulged to Politico.

But the Politico reporter who wrote the story, Lorraine Woellert, said the disclosure form was publicly available through a records request.

“This White House is transparent and accountable, and we’ve all complied with those rules,” Conway added. “But [disclosures are] really disincentivizing good men and women. I hope it doesn’t disincentivize Anthony [Scaramucci].”

According to the form, Scaramucci earned $4.9 million from an ownership stake in his investment firm and will take home an additional $5 million from the Export-Import Bank, Politico reported.

Scaramucci had railed against the “leak” of his disclosure forms after Politico’s story was published.

“In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony,” Scaramucci tweeted, “I will be contacting @FBI and the @TheJustice Department #swamp @Reince45.”

In the now-deleted tweet, Scaramucci had tagged White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, reportedly suggesting that Priebus was the source of the leak of his form.

Hours later, Scaramucci tweeted a screenshot of an Axios story with the headline “Scaramucci appears to want Priebus investigated by FBI.”

“Wrong!” Scaramucci wrote. “Tweet was public notice to leakers that all Sr Adm officials are helping to end illegal leaks. @Reince45”

Since becoming head of the communications team, Scaramucci has vowed to stop leaks from within the White House to media outlets. He’s promised to purge the communications team until the revelations stop.

In an unrestrained CNN interview Thursday, Scaramucci acknowledged that the disclosure form is public, but condemned leaks from the White House once again.

“I understand the law,” Scaramucci said. “I know that there was a public disclosure mechanism in my financial forms. What I’m upset about is the process and the junk pool, the dirty pool, in terms of the way this stuff is being done. And the leaking won’t stop.”

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