White House’s ‘MAGA’ Slam Violated Hatch Act, Watchdog Says

Leah Millis/Reuters
Leah Millis/Reuters

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates violated the Hatch Act, a law banning federal officials from participating in campaign activity while on the job, by using the term “MAGA,” according to a government watchdog agency. NBC News reported that Bates referred to “MAGAnomics” on Monday to raise concerns over Republicans possibly repealing the Affordable Care Act. This was the second warning from the Office of Special Counsel, which previously sent a letter to the pair in October for lambasting “MAGA” Republicans when denouncing the GOP’s 10-year budget plan. Hatch Act Unit Chief Ana Galindo-Marrone wrote at the time that the OSC wouldn’t hand out any punishments but would keep an eye on them for future infractions. In June, the OSC announced that references to terms like “MAGA” were banned after Jean-Pierre used them numerous times in the lead-up to the 2022 midterm elections. Thirteen Trump administration officials had previously received a warning from the OSC for using their “influence to interfere with or affect the results of the 2020 presidential election” at the 2020 Republican National Convention.

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