Former Trump staffer lashes out at president as people call White House speech ‘sickening’ and ‘propaganda’

Former Trump staffer lashes out at president as people call White House speech ‘sickening’ and ‘propaganda’

A former Trump staffer lambasted the president's decision to hold the final night of the RNC on the White House lawn Thursday night, describing it as an "abuse of power".

"This abomination may be the most visible misuse of official position for private gain in America's history," tweeted Walter Shaub, the director of the United States Office of Government Ethics between 2013 and 2017.

It is an abuse of the power entrusted to this man, the breach of a sacred trust. It is the civic equivalent of a mortal sin—maybe a religious one too. And it is a harbinger.

Many others seemed to agree with him, calling it "propaganda", "sickening" and "disturbing" on social media.

"Almost the entire RNC convention was a Hatch Act violation," Richard Painter, the White House chief ethics lawyer between 2005 and 2007, wrote.

What is the Hatch Act you may ask? A law that bars federal employees from engaging in any political activities - including campaigning - in their official capacities.

(Notice the “TRUMP/PENCE” signs on the property that supposedly doesn't belong to any party.)

While the president and vice president are excluded from the law, many experts believe the law bans the use of public spaces for political activities. Federal employees who helped staged the RNC are also not immune to it.

Trump is not the only one accused of violating the act recently after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a speech praising Trump's presidency at the RNC during a taxpayer-funded trip to Jerusalem.

At one point during his speech, Trump even seemed to mock critics of the decision to hold the speech at the White House:

“The fact is, I’m here - what’s the name of that building?” he said, to cheering, pointing to the White House. “The fact is, we’re here and they’re not.”

In an interview with Vox, Jordan Libowitz, a spokesperson for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said that “history is littered with totalitarians who used their government as political props.”

Speaking on Trump’s show in front of the White House, he said:

It’s terrifying.

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