WASHINGTON — White House chief of staff Ron Klain “got it wrong” when he violated the Hatch Act with a political retweet from his official Twitter account, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday.

Klain’s violation, first reported by The Post, was outlined in a letter from the Office of Special Counsel, an independent agency that enforces the Hatch Act’s prohibitions on certain political actions by officials.

“Ron is very careful and takes the Hatch Act very seriously in his media appearances and his use of Twitter. But he got it wrong this time and he retweeted something that was political,” Jean-Pierre said during a gaggle on Air Force One en route to Syracuse, NY.

“He fixed it as soon as it was pointed out and takes the warning to be more careful seriously.”

Klain violated the Hatch Act’s restrictions on political solicitation and misusing his authority by retweeting a May 22 post that encouraged people to buy the partisan Democratic group Strike PAC’s “Democrats Deliver” merchandise, the OSC found.

A picture of WH chief of staff Ron Klain during a television interview.
Klain’s violation was outlined in a letter from the Office of Special Counsel, an independent agency that enforces the Hatch Act’s prohibitions.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jean-Pierre defended Klain by saying that officials in President Donald Trump’s administration committed more serious violations of the law and generally shrugged off alleged violations.

“That’s very different than the prior crew here … at the White House before us, previously, that blatantly, openly, and carelessly violated the Hatch Act repeatedly. We are not perfect, but our violations have been few,” she said.

A report issued last year by the OSC said at least 13 Trump administration officials, including former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, violated the rules.

Trump-era accusations against West Wing aide Kellyanne Conway and first daughter Ivanka Trump garnered sustained media attention and widespread condemnation from Democrats.

A picture of Karine Jean-Pierre at a daily news briefing.
“Ron is very careful and takes the Hatch Act very seriously in his media appearances and his use of Twitter,” Jean-Pierre said.
Getty Images

Hatch Act violators can be fined up to $1,000 and face bans on federal employment. They also attract unwanted negative media attention and White House spokespeople frequently cite the law when declining to answer certain questions pertaining to elections.

Then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki received a reprimand last year for violating the law at a press briefing by speaking supportively about Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign.

Ana Galindo-Marrone, chief of the Hatch Act Unit at the OSC, described Klain’s violation in a letter to the America First Legal Foundation, a pro-Trump group founded by former White House aide Stephen Miller, who the OSC previously found violated the act.

Ron Klain, White House chief of staff, speaks to members of the media.
Klain retweeted a post that encouraged people to buy the partisan Democratic group Strike PAC’s “Democrats Deliver” merchandise.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“Although OSC has concluded that Mr. Klain violated the Hatch Act, as explained below, we have decided not to pursue disciplinary action and instead issued him a warning letter,” Galindo-Marrone wrote.

“Mr. Klain has been warned that if in the future he engages in activity prohibited by the Hatch Act while employed in a covered position, OSC would consider such activity to be a willful and knowing violation of the law that could result in disciplinary action,” she added.



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