By Retweeting Trump's Words, Nikki Haley May Have Broken A Law

A watchdog group says the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. violated the Hatch Act.
Posted at 12:02 PM, Jun 29, 2017

watchdog group says with one retweet, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley broke a U.S. federal law.

The original tweet came earlier this month from President Donald Trump. He was promoting a Republican candidate in a South Carolina special election.

Haley retweeted Trump's endorsement the same day, and on Tuesday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington — aka CREW — said that could be a violation of the Hatch Act.

The law prohibits federal employees from using their official authority or influence to try to sway an election.

The rules say you can't use your "official title while participating in political activity." CREW notes Haley's retweet came from her account that clearly lists her as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

Trump's not being called out here because the president and vice president are exempt from the Hatch Act.

Haley has since deleted the retweet, but CREW still wants the Office of Special Counsel to investigate.

In a different case, CREW successfully argued that Trump's social media director broke the Hatch Act. His punishment wasn't too harsh, though — he only got a warning letter.

In that case, Dan Scavino tweeted his own views. In this case, Haley reposted Trump's. But a legal expert told NPR that might not make much of a difference.