Fox News nonplussed as White House spokesperson suggests illegal purge of government

White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley appeared on Fox’s America’s Newsroom, where he was asked about reporting that President Donald Trump is looking into a purge of anti-Trump government officials.

Gidley admitted that such a purge is under consideration, and he suggested the administration is looking at millions of federal government workers -- not just the political appointees who serve at the pleasure of the president and can be fired for any reason.

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Citation From the February 24, 2020, edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom

HOGAN GIDLEY (PRINCIPAL DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY): It's not a secret that we want people in positions that work with this president, not against him. And too often we have people in this government -- I mean, the federal government is massive with millions of people, and there are a lot of folks out there working against this president. If we find them, we will take appropriate action.

The Fox News anchors immediately changed the subject.

Purging civil servants for being anti-Trump is blatantly illegal:

Under federal laws dating back to the late 1800s, government workers can only be hired or fired based on their merit and work performance. It’s illegal to make those decisions based on political affiliations or patronage. Additional laws passed in the wake of Watergate and President Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre strengthened those protections, mandating that supervisors show cause for firing any federal worker and setting up the Merit Systems Protection Board for employees to appeal their cases.

This is not the first time concerns have been raised about the administration firing people based on their politics.