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Oh Look, Former Trump Officials Suddenly Care About the Hatch Act Now

Donald Trump proves how much he loves America by hugging a flag and smirking

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain was issued a warning for violating the Hatch Act, which “limits certain political activities of federal employees.” The act bars executive branch employees from using their title or agency to campaign for or in opposition to someone running for political office. Klain violated that rule when he—a prolific Twitter user—retweeted a post from the Democratic group STRIKE PAC celebrating Joe Biden’s action to help end the baby formula shortage earlier this year.

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The tweet ended with a call to “Get your Democrats Deliver merch today!” and included a link to the PAC’s online store.

Klain was given a warning but, from the sound of it, no other punishment. Honestly, upon reading that, I was just glad to be reminded what it was like to have an administration that cares even the slightest about things like the Hatch Act. I don’t have a huge investment in *norms* but this is certainly better than the four years under Trump when his administration constantly violated this and other anti-corruption statutes, and turned any criticism over it into an attack on Democrats and “the media.”

Which is why it may surprise you to learn that it was one of those former Trump administration officials that flagged Klain’s tweet in the first place. The tweet—which Klain retweeted in May and deleted at some point since—was reported by America First Legal, a right-wing, reactionary group run by Trump’s white supremacist, obviously vampiric senior policy advisor Stephen Miller. Because now Miller cares about the Hatch Act. How convenient!

Of course, this should absolutely not surprise you. There’s nothing less surprising that seeing extreme hypocrisy from a MAGA mouthpiece.

(image: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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