TalkingPointsMemo: WH Staffers Pose With Dinesh D’Souza And His New Book On The ‘Fascist’ Left
Conservative author Dinesh D’Souza on Friday posted pictures of top White House staffers Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka posing with him and his new book, which argues that the modern Democratic Party practices tactics promoted by fascist leaders like Mussolini and Hitler.
It is illegal for federal employees to use their public offices to endorse a product, and executive branch conduct rules prohibit accepting gifts worth more than $20.
D’Souza’s book retails for less than that, but Larry Noble, senior director and general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, said the pictures still raised “serious issues” about whether Bannon and Gorka had endorsed it.
“Gorka and Bannon each posing for a picture in their office with D’Souza while holding his book raises a serious issues of whether they violated the ban,” Noble told TPM in an email. “I think a reasonable person would assume that the picture would be used to publicly suggest endorsement of the book.”
“I wonder whether they warned him it could not be used for publicity,” Noble added.