Looks like circle back girl Jen Psaki may be in a bit of trouble for endorsing Terry McAuliffe for Virginia governor during a press briefing, which the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics In Washington group (CREW) alleges is a violation of the Hatch Act.
The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activities while on duty, in a Government room or building, while wearing an official uniform, or while using a Government vehicle.
During Thursday’s press briefing, Psaki told a reporter that “we’re going to do everything we can to help former Governor McAuliffe, and we believe in the agenda he’s representing.”
Former Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was quick to call Psaki out for allegedly violating the Hatch Act, which ultimately led to the Government Watchdog filing an ethics complaint.
This isn’t the first time Psaki trod dangerously close to violating the Hatch Act. In September she was called out for cheering on Joe Biden while he campaigned for California Gov. Gavin Newsom ahead of the state’s recall election publicly stating that Biden’s efforts will “hopefully”… be helpful to the efforts of the governor.”
Jen Psaki isn’t the only press secretary where complaints were filed against her for violating the Hatch Act. During the Trump Administration, multiple complaints were filed against Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kayleigh McEnany, former Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley, former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and other Trump staffers for violating the law.
Psaki responded to CREW’s complaint in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead” on Friday, saying, “I take ethics seriously. So does the President, of course.”
“As I understand it, if I had said ‘he’ instead of ‘we,’ that would not have been an issue at all, and I’ll be more careful with my words next time,” Psaki said. “Words certainly matter.”