Zinke’s sock tweet may have violated U.S. campaign law

By: Reuters, June 26, 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday deleted a photo of a sock he was wearing with President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan on it after realizing he may have violated a law that prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activity.

While attending a meeting of the Western Governors Association at South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore, Zinke tweeted a photo of his leg covered with a sock with Trump’s image on it and his Make America Great Again campaign slogan.

“Breaking in new socks on a hike with the governors today,” the official @SecretaryZinke Twitter account said.

Several tweeters and watchdog groups were quick to observe that donning campaign-style apparel while conducting official business is a violation of the Hatch Act.

The Campaign for Accountability responded to the @SecretaryZinke tweet with a link to a March 5 letter posted by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), which updated its guidance on the Hatch Act in light of Trump confirming he will run for re-election.

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