Yesterday we reported that the Office of Special Counsel (not to be confused with the former Special Counsel Robert Mueller) had recommended to Trump that Kellyanne Conway be fired. Well the president has made a decision and he announced it on Fox and Friends this morning:
FOX NEWS – President Trump, in an exclusive interview Friday morning with “Fox & Friends,” said he will not fire adviser Kellyanne Conway in the wake of a government watchdog’s recommendation that she be removed over violations of the Hatch Act.
“I’m not gonna fire her. I think she’s a terrific person. She’s a tremendous spokesperson,” Trump said.
Trump, though, said: “It looks to me like they’re trying to take away her right of free speech.”
He even suggested he would not counsel Conway to tone it down.
“It doesn’t work that way,” Trump said, arguing that Conway was merely responding to political attacks against him. “A person wouldn’t be able to express themselves, and I just don’t see it.”
Trump noted that he will be getting a briefing on the findings.
I didn’t think for one moment yesterday that Trump would fire Kellyanne over this.
For his part, Special Counsel Henry Kerner said yesterday he had no animus toward Kellyanne and that he respected whatever decision Trump made:
Special Counsel Henry Kerner, meanwhile, defended his office’s work in an interview with Fox News on Thursday. Still, he was deferential to Trump, making clear the decision on whether to remove Conway is his alone.
“We respect his decision and, of course, the president has any option he’d like—to reprimand or not to reprimand,” Kerner said. “It is up to the president’s discretion and we respect that.”
In the interview, Kerner said his office had “several discussions” with the White House counsel and they had the OSC report “for weeks.” He said this was “not some sort of a drop it-on-them situation.”
“I am a Trump appointee—I have no animus toward Kellyanne whatsoever,” he added. “My job is to make sure the federal workforce stay as depoliticized and as fair as possible.”
I’m sure Trump’s critics will make a huge deal out of all of this, as they make a huge deal out of everything Trump says and does. They’ll probably even say not firing Kellyanne is grounds for impeachment because that’s just what they do…