Biden Staffer Says Hatch Act Bars Him From Taking Questions About Cocaine At The WH
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 12: World Food Program USA Board Chairman Hunter Biden (L) and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden attend the World Food Program USA's Annual McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony at Organization of American States on April 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for World Food Program USA)
Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for World Food Program USA

White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates raised eyebrows on Thursday when he claimed that the Hatch Act barred him from answering any questions about the cocaine that was found in the White House over the weekend.

Bates, who fielded questions from reporters aboard Air Force One as they traveled with President Joe Biden to South Carolina, floated the Hatch Act as the reason he could not respond to claims made by former President Donald Trump – namely that the cocaine had belonged to either Hunter Biden or the president himself.


“I don’t have a response to that because we have to be careful about the Hatch Act,” Bates said, going on to suggest that Trump was only making the accusations against the Biden’s because he couldn’t compete when it came to policy.

“What I will say is that I have noticed there does seem to be some increasing frustration coming from that corner in general and I think it is probably rooted in the contrast between their substantive policy record,” he said.

But critics were not quite ready to buy the Hatch Act — which bars some Biden Administration employees from engaging in certain political activities — as a legitimate excuse for a communications staffer not taking questions about a major news story, even if those questions were prompted by a political opponent.

“That famous Hatch Act provision which doesn’t allow you to say White House cocaine doesn’t belong to the president or his son,” Jerry Dunleavy tweeted.


Doug Powers added, “This answer was worse than just screaming and running away.”

“Odd that Bates pivots to the Hatch Act and doesn’t deny the question …” Steve Guest commented.

“Hatch Act: A weak deflection from the Occam’s Razor answer: When drugs are found in a secure location, it’s the degenerate junkie who is exempt from searches,” Jim Hanson said.

“I believe this case actually falls under the Crack Act,” Brian Doherty tweeted.

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