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 June 16, 2023

White House ignores OSC's warning against using the 'MAGA' term

Even after being warned against using a certain term, which violates the Hatch Act, the White House continued its antics this week, seemingly ignoring the warning. 

According to the Washington Examiner, in recent pieces of White House correspondence, officials continued to use the term "MAGA," which was warned against by the Office of Special Counsel  (OSC).

The OSC deemed the term too closely attached to former President Donald Trump's presidency and campaign, thus violating the Hatch Act.

The Hatch Act was passed to prevent public officials from influencing elections.

However, the OSC's warning didn't stop White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates from sending out an email that used the "MAGA" term.

"MAGA remains the campaign slogan of a current candidate for partisan political office, and therefore, its use constitutes political activity," the OSC wrote in a memo with the warning.

It added: "Accordingly, federal employees should not use ‘MAGA’ or ‘Make America Great Again’ while on duty, in the workplace, or when acting in their official capacity, including communicating through social media, email, or on government websites."

The continued use of the term came in the wake of a warning for White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who used the term and "MAGA Republicans" behind the podium at recent press briefings.

The Examiner noted:

Although Jean-Pierre was not telling people not to vote for specific candidates, the office concluded that the "timing, frequency, and content" of her comments on “MAGA Republicans” constituted using the term to generate opposition to Republicans, which is political activity, and violates the Hatch Act.

Social media reacted to the White House seemingly ignoring the OSC's warning, with many pointing out that it's unlikely that KJP or any other White House official will be penalized for it.

"Some are special, but some are more special than others. Rules thee, but none for me, they do declare," one Twitter user wrote.

Another Twitter user added: "When you own the prosecutor, there are no crimes for you, but the opponent will find breathing is a crime."

Only time will tell if White House officials continue to ignore the OSC's warnings, but it certainly doesn't look like they're worried about it at this point, as they continue to blatantly used the term.

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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