Kellyanne Conway's 'Commercial' For Ivanka May Violate The Law
- Author: Zachary Reyes Feb 11, 2017,
Feb 11, 2017, 18:32
The White House ethics watchdog has been urged to discipline Kellyanne Conway for endorsing Ivanka Trump's clothing line.
Later, she said: "Go buy Ivanka's stuff, is what I would say". I own some of it. "I'm going to hate shopping and I'm going to go get some myself today".
White House advisor Kellyanne Conway listens as US President Donald Trump meets with county sheriffs at the White House in Washington, US February 7, 2017. The plug came when she was asked to weigh in on Trump's tweet of previous day bashing Nordstrom for dropping Ivanka's line.
Several attorneys, including former heads of federal agencies, said Conway's endorsement directly conflicted with government ethics rules created to separate government policy from private business dealings.
Conway kept played her comments close to the vest as well, following the misstep.
Earlier this week, Trump blasted Nordstrom on Twitter, claiming his daughter had been treated "unfairly" by the high-end retailer.
Presidents are exempted from the ethics rules.
Federal ethics rules prohibit the use of public office for private gain - including endorsement of any product, even those from friends and relatives. "By focusing on this rule and their other basic ethical obligations, employees can truly honor the principle that public service is a public trust".
The US Office of Government Ethics said late on Thursday that the "extraordinary" flood of contacts had hit its "website, phone system and email system", and appeared to say it was advising other government agencies on action to take over Ms Conway's statements.
While a group called "Grab Your Wallet" has urged companies to boycott any and all Trump products, the Seattle-based department store chain said it based its decision on sales performance.
And what message is this sending to any company that declines to do business with the Trump Organization? She then used that platform to, in effect, do a little commercial/testimonial in support of her boss' daughter's merchandise, encouraging people to buy Trump products.
The White House said later Thursday that it had "counseled" Conway on the issue.
Spicer, who has previously lied to the press from behind his podium, added that Trump "has every right to stand up for members of his family and applaud their business activity and success".