President Donald Trump’s China press conference in the Rose Garden on Tuesday swiftly devolved into a rally-style political attack on former Vice President Joe Biden.
His use of White House staffers for a political event drew immediate scrutiny, with commenters on social media suggesting it could run afoul of the Hatch Act — which prohibits most government employees from attending or participating in political events in their official capacity. Trump himself is not subject to this law, but any staff who helped him organize the event could be.
Trump is now literally unloading an oppo dump on Biden from the Rose Garden. He’s reading aloud from a list of recent Biden alleged atrocities that he said he just asked his staff to prepare for him.
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) July 14, 2020
Every @WhiteHouse official and staffer who was involved in the arrangement and logistics of this press conference is in violation of the Hatch Act. American taxpayers' money is not supposed to be used for what is clearly a campaign event. Don the Crook is stealing from us again.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) July 14, 2020
The Hatch Act does not apply to the President. But there are designated places in the White House for White House officials to discuss campaign issues and events. Unless the prep for this was done in the residence or the Ward room, they violated the law today.
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) July 14, 2020
Allowing White House staff to violate the Hatch Act without consequence erodes the integrity of our electoral process. It must not be allowed to continue. Congress must act. https://t.co/9VpHiQ1466
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) July 14, 2020
The GOP will suddenly care very much about the Hatch Act the minute Biden becomes President.
They will also suddenly care very much about Coronavirus deaths, unemployment, and the budget deficit then.
But not at all until then.
— JRehling (@JRehling) July 14, 2020
NEW: even Fox News admits that that if Obama had delivered a campaign speech from the Rose Garden, Republicans would’ve been “up in arms.”
(And that’s without all the lies and conspiracy theories Trump just packed in.) pic.twitter.com/cpf3Vt4erw
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) July 14, 2020