A top adviser to President Trump has urged the defeat of a Michigan congressman and member of the House Freedom Caucus, which derailed the White House on legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Government ethics lawyers say the tweet by White House social media director Dan Scavino Jr. violates federal law that limits political activity by government employees. The White House denies Scavino had run afoul of the law, reports the AP. Two days after Trump himself tweeted a threat to the conservative group of fellow Republicans, Scavino followed up Saturday by singling out GOP Rep. Justin Amash, tweeting Trump "is bringing auto plants & jobs back to Michigan" and Amash "is a big liability," adding: "#TrumpTrain, defeat him in primary."
Amash, who began serving his fourth House term in January, responded by retweeting Scavino and adding: "Trump admin & Establishment have merged into #Trumpstablishment. Same old agenda: Attack conservatives, libertarians & independent thinkers." Ethics lawyers who worked for both Republican and Democratic presidents say Scavino violated the Hatch Act, a federal law that limits political activity by government employees. They say it doesn't matter that Scavino tweeted from an account marked as "personal" and not from his official government Twitter account, as the White House asserts. One lawyer points out the description beneath the photo on the account Scavino has designated as personal: It shows Scavino in the Oval Office, and he is identified as director of social media and a senior adviser to Trump. (Read more House Freedom Caucus stories.)