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Psaki declines to touch upon Va. gov race after Hatch Act accusation

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is declining to touch upon the upcoming Virginia gubernatorial election, saying she “learned her lesson” after being accused of violating the Hatch Act earlier this month. 

During Tuesday’s each day press briefing, Psaki was pressed on whether or not President Biden is “surprised” on how shut the race has develop into, as Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin are neck and neck within the polls one week earlier than election day.

“I’ve learned my lesson,” Psaki stated. “I’m not going to do politics from here or political analysis. I can confirm that the president is going to Arlington later this evening and that that is my hometown as well. And, of course, the Vice President as well. But beyond scheduling details, I will leave political analysis to my friends over at the DNC.” 

Earlier this month, the press secretary discovered herself in some sizzling water after Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington, a authorities watchdog group, filed a criticism to the Office of Special Counsel accusing her of violating the federal Hatch Act by praising McAuliffe throughout her common briefing.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki
“I’m not going to do politics from here or political analysis,” stated White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The group alleged that Psaki had improperly used her workplace to have an effect on the end result of subsequent month’s election, after she had been requested whether or not the Biden administration thought of McAuliffe’s race towards Republican Glenn Youngkin to be a “bellwether” forward of the 2022 midterm elections.

“Well, I have to be a little careful about how much political analysis I do from here,” Psaki started earlier than saying that President Biden “of course wants former Gov. McAuliffe to be the future governor of Virginia. There is alignment on a lot of their agenda, whether it is the need to invest in rebuilding our roads, rails, and bridges, or making it easier for women to rejoin the workforce.”

“We’re going to do everything we can to help former Governor McAuliffe, and we believe in the agenda he’s representing,” she concluded.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe
President Joe Biden is predicted to marketing campaign for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on Oct. 26, 2021.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Shortly after the criticism was filed, Psaki responded on CNN, saying “I take ethics seriously. So does this president, of course. As I understand it, if I had said ‘he’ instead of ‘we,’ that would not have been an issue at all, and I’ll be more careful with my words next time. Words certainly matter.”

“We appreciate Jen Psaki and the Biden administration reaffirming their commitment to ethics and to the law, something all too rare in recent years,” CREW tweeted in response to Psaki’s promise. “We look forward to a renewed commitment to compliance with the Hatch Act from the administration.”

Biden is ready to stump for McAuliffe on Tuesday because the Democrat faces off towards Youngkin subsequent week. As the 2 candidates stay shut within the polls, Biden’s approval ranking continues to fall — inflicting some to take a position whether or not the Democratic voters in Virginia will end up for McAuliffe.