Kellyanne Conway: ‘Go buy Ivanka’s stuff’
Senior adviser to President Trump Kellyanne Conway appeared on Fox News and promoted the first daughter’s merchandise after President Trump criticized Nordstrom for stopping the sale of Ivanka Trump’s products.
“It’s a wonderful line. I own some of it,” Conway told “Fox & Friends.” “I fully — I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
Conway’s remark appears to violate the executive branch’s ban on staff endorsing products or companies. The regulation, from the Office of Government Ethics, also prohibits using public office for private gain of oneself or friends or relatives.
Under the regulation, OGE’s director can notify the employee of the violation and ask the agency to investigate. The director can recommend discipline, including suspension, loss of pay or termination, but would probably just issue a warning for a first offense.
“This appears to be a textbook violation of government ethics laws and regulations enacted to prevent the abuse of an employee’s government position,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) wrote in a letter to committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz asking for a “review and potential disciplinary action.”
The liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has also filed a complaint against Conway with the Office of Government Ethics and White House Counsel’s Office.
“Ms. Conway appears to have violated both the letter and the spirit of these rules when she used her position to endorse the accessories and clothing line of Ms. Trump, the daughter of the president,” the complaint says. “Furthermore, we are concerned about what appears to be a pattern developing of the use of official offices, particularly the White House and the Executive Office of the President, to benefit business interests of relatives and supporters of the president; Ms. Conway’s comments appear to be just the latest example of this trend.”