Obama ethics chief says press secretary shouldnt have used government account to condemn a private business
A tweet by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders about her ejection from a Virginia restaurant on Friday broke federal ethics rules, a leading expert said.
On Saturday, Sanders posted: Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington [Virginia] to leave because I work for POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.
Walter Shaub, federal ethics chief under Barack Obama and briefly Donald Trump and now a fierce critic of the administration, responded: Sanders used her official govt account to condemn a private business for personal reasons she can lob attacks on her own time but not using her official position.
The controversy came at the end of a week of fierce debate over a Trump policy which mandated the separation of children from their parents when such families entered the US illegally.
Between April and early June, according to federal statistics, more than 2,300 children were taken. On Wednesday, amidst international condemnation and with even Republican supporters in Congress beginning to waver, Trump signed an executive order nominally but not conclusively stopping the practice.
On Saturday, groups of Democrats visited federal facilities, seeking details about how the children will be reunited with their families. The Department of Homeland Security said it knew where all the children were and was working to reunite them.
On Sunday, Trump returned to the attack on Twitter, advocating the end of due process. We cannot allow all of these people to invade our ountry, the president wrote. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order.
Amidst the controversy over immigration, and mixed messages from the president about congressional efforts at reform, there has been no White House press briefing since Monday. Then, Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary, addressed reporters on the separations policy.
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