US gov't watchdog: Trump aide Kellyanne Conway should be fired

The Office of Special Counsel says Kellyanne Conway should be fired for disparaging Democratic presidential candidates.

    Conway has been an unwavering defender of Trump on cable news [File: Lucas Jackson/Reuters]
    Conway has been an unwavering defender of Trump on cable news [File: Lucas Jackson/Reuters]

    A United States federal watchdog agency has recommended that White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway be fired for repeatedly violating a law that limits certain political activities of federal employees.

    The US Office of Special Counsel (OSC) said in a statement on Thursday that Conway has become a "repeat offender" of the Hatch Act by disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.

    "Given that Ms Conway is a repeat offender and has shown disregard for the law, OSC recommends that she be removed from federal service," the statement said.

    A White House spokesman calls the Office of Special Counsel's actions "deeply flawed".

    Steven Groves, White House deputy press secretary, said the OSC action violated Conway's constitutional rights to free speech and due process and was pushed by media pressure and liberal organisations.  

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    Conway is one of Trump's most loyal aides and fiercest defenders and is leading White House efforts on reducing deaths by opioids. Trump likely would be loathe to have her leave the White House right when he is cranking up his re-election campaign.  The president has praised her for her "success" in her career.

    Career government officials found to have violated the Hatch Act can be fired, suspended or demoted, and fined up to $1,000.

    The president, vice president and certain other senior officials are exempted.

    The OSC is unrelated to Special Counsel Robert Mueller who investigated Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

    SOURCE: News agencies