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White House to review ruling that press secretary violated act on political activity

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday that White House lawyers would review a ruling from a government agency that said she had violated a law limiting political activity by federal employees.

The Office of Special Counsel on Monday announced that Jean-Pierre had violating the Hatch Act by referring to “mega MAGA Republicans” in talking to reporters last year.

“Because Ms Jean‐Pierre made the statements while acting in her official capacity, she violated the Hatch Act prohibition against using her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election,” the office said.

Asked at her daily briefing on Tuesday about the ruling, Jean-Pierre said she had used language given to her by White House officials.

“At the time I was given the sign-off to use that terminology,” she said.

She said the previous Donald Trump administration had frequently referred to “MAGA Republicans.” MAGA is short for Trump’s political slogan, Make America Great Again.

Jean-Pierre said White House lawyers would be in touch with the Office of Special Counsel to review the ruling.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Steve Holland; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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