Deputy Press Sec Puzzles Experts After Odd Response to Question About Cocaine in the WH


When a question about the cocaine found at the White House was raised at a press briefing on Thursday, the answer became a puzzle.

White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said that due to the Hatch Act he could not answer a question about whether the cocaine belonged to President Joe Biden or his son, Hunter.

The Hatch Act “prohibits federal employees from talking about or using federal resources for campaign purposes,” according to Fox News.

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“I don’t have a response to that because we have to be careful about the Hatch Act,” Bates replied.

Former Bush administration ethics chief Richard Painter raised an eyebrow at that, saying he has “given lectures at the White House” on the law and it “does not cover snorting cocaine.”

“This is the most ridiculous invocation of the Hatch Act I’ve ever heard,” Painter said.

Was invoking the Hatch Act appropriate?

He said that even if a Biden campaign worker was “high as a kite,” the Hatch Act would not be invoked.

Attorney Bradley Moss said he was “candidly at a loss as to why Mr. Bates believes the Hatch Act is relevant with respect to addressing that question.”

“I could envision other legitimate bases for declining to respond, such as respecting the integrity of the ongoing investigation, but references to the Hatch Act seem misplaced,” Moss said.

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On Friday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre — who has herself been reprimanded for a Hatch Act violation — was willing to deliver a scolding on the subject of the Biden family and the cocaine that was found, according to the New York Post.

“You know, there has been some irresponsible reporting about the family, and, uh, and so I’ve got to call that out here,” she said.

“And I have been very clear, I was clear two days ago when talking about this over and over again as I was being asked the question, as you know, and media outlets reported this, the Biden family was not here,” she said.

“They were not here. They were at Camp David. They were not here Friday. They were not here Saturday or Sunday. They were not even here Monday. They came back on Tuesday. So to ask that question is actually incredibly irresponsible, and I’ll just leave it there,” she said.

She said Bates cited the Hatch Act “because the question was posed to him using Donald Trump. So he was trying to be very mindful … and so that’s why he said the Hatch Act. So I would, you know, have you read the transcript and read the transcript fully so you can see exactly what he was trying to say.”

The official transcript shows that the question asked went like this: “You know, President — former President Trump has made some pretty wild posts recently on social media. One of them was that the cocaine found in the White House was — had belonged to either the president or his son. Are you willing to say that that’s not the case, that they don’t belong to them?”

After saying he had to be careful of the Hatch Act, he later added, “There is a long list of areas where this administration succeeded for the middle class where our predecessor did not.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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