Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer may have resigned from his role in the Trump administration almost two weeks ago, but he’s still causing trouble for America. According to a former chief ethics watchdog, Spicer may be breaking the law on taxpayers’ dime.
Spicer is still working in the White House despite his resignation, yet he has reportedly been meeting with future employers – which may be a violation of the law. On July 22nd, just a day after he resigned, Spicer was caught meeting with television executives and talent agencies to discuss book deals, says Politico. When reporters asked Spicer if he was using government time while he was searching for new job opportunities, he didn’t deny it. Instead, Spicer said:
There’s no such thing as vacations. It’s a 24-7 job, I don’t accrue vacation.”
Walter Schaub, the former director of the United States Office of Government Ethics, advises that this might be violating standards of conduct. Schaub said:
If you’re making decisions about access or potentially giving an exclusive [to a news organization], then you could be affecting their financial interests, which could trigger a conflict of interest.”
Senior government officials are legally required to file notice if they are negotiating employment. Then, they need to step back from anything “that might involve the financial interests of potential employers.” This is to avoid conflicts of interest, but Spicer won’t say whether he has filed such a notice or taken precautions against this. Schaub explained that if Spicer was discussing an appearance on “Dancing With The Stars” while still working in the White House, this could be a violation:
If [TV networks] broach the topic of him coming to work for them, then he’s seeking employment and the recusal under the standards of conduct kicks in.”
It’s highly probably that job searching is exactly what Spicer has been doing since his resignation – and he’s doing it on taxpayers’ time. According to White House aides, no one is sure what the hell Spicer does all day now that he’s no longer press secretary. However, he has been seen at public ceremonies and was spotted taking his family around on White House tours. It wouldn’t surprise us at all if Spicer was conducting job interviews while he’s at it.
Featured image via Alex Wong / Getty Images