Dan Scavino ripped former White House photographer Pete Souza for allegedly profiting from photographs he took while working on the taxpayer’s dime.
Souza, who was the photographer for the Obama presidency, lashed out at Scavino on Twitter on Saturday. The photographer tweeted that Scavino was violating the Hatch Act for tweeting pro-Trump sentiments. Scavino currently works in the White House as a presidential assistant and director of social media.
Souza retweeted a post from Scavino’s page with the caption, “Hatch Act: Federal employees may not use their official title or authority… and engage in political activity while on duty.”
Hatch Act: Federal employees may not use their official title or authority… and engage in political activity while on duty. https://t.co/41WAiRl3OZ
— Pete Souza (@PeteSouza) December 29, 2019
Scavino explained that the Hatch Act does not pertain to his personal Twitter account, which Souza had retweeted. All official tweets sent on behalf of the White House come from a separate account.
He then pivoted to accuse Souza of profiting from photographs taken on the taxpayer’s time with government equipment, tweeting, “Personal account Pete, but while I’ve got ya — please explain your 8 [years] as Obama’s White House photographer and the millions of dollars you have since made from publishing photo books, using photographs taken as a federal employee, on official duty, [with] government owned equipment?”
Personal account Pete, but while I’ve got ya – please explain your 8yrs as Obama’s White House photographer and the millions of dollars you have since made from publishing photo books, using photographs taken as a federal employee, on official duty, w/ government owned equipment? https://t.co/xdiGnnqySa
— Dan Scavino (@DanScavino) December 29, 2019
As Scavino noted, Souza has published two books that include photographs of President Barack Obama. His first book, OBAMA: An Intimate Portrait was published in 2017 and sells for $45 on Barnes and Noble. It contains many photographs of the Obama presidency. The second book, Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents, is a biography about Obama and sells for $9.99.
Several members of the Trump administration have been accused of violating the Hatch Act by campaigning on official time. Earlier this year, the Office of Special Counsel found Kellyanne Conway to be in violation of the Hatch Act and recommended her removal from the White House. Trump opted to keep Conway as a presidential counselor despite the recommendation.
The Washington Examiner has reached out to Souza for comment.
Author: Madison Dibble
Source: Washington Examiner: Trump aide blasts Obama photographer for making millions ‘on official duty with government-owned equipment’