The White House has rejected an independent report that concluded a top presidential adviser, Kellyanne Conway, violated federal law when she expressed her opinions in two televised interviews last year.
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel said in a report Tuesday Conway advocated during a November interview with Fox News for the defeat of a senate candidate in an Alabama special election and gave an "implied endorsement" for another candidate. In a December interview on CNN, she advocated for the defeat of a candidate and the election of another.
The office said both were violations of the Hatch Act, which prohibits most federal government employees from using their official authority to influence elections. The office submitted the report to the president for him to take "appropriate disciplinary action."
“Kellyanne Conway did not advocate for or against the election of any particular candidate. She simply expressed the president’s obvious position that he has people in the House and Senate who support his agenda," the White House said in a statement.
In both interviews, Conway was discussing the senate race between Democratic candidate Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore, who were vying for the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he became Trump's attorney general.
The office said it gave Conway an opportunity to respond to its findings, but she declined to do so.
The Office of Special Counsel is not associated with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 elections.