The White House on Wednesday defended President Trump’s feuding with Nordstrom, claiming the retail giant attacked the president’s daughter and that he would defend his family when provoked.

Nordstrom has pulled Ivanka Trump’s line of clothing and accessories from its stores under the threat of boycott from outside groups. The company says its decision is based on an analysis of its sales.

But White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters the company was “targeting” Ivanka Trump for political reasons, which he said justified Trump’s attack against the company over Twitter.

“There’s clearly a targeting of her brand and her name was out there, so even if she’s not running the company, it’s clearly her name on it and there’s clearly efforts to undermine that name based on her father’s positions on particular policies he’s taken,” Spicer said. “This is a direct attack on his policies and her name and so there’s clearly an attempt for [Trump] to stand up for her being maligned because they have a problem with his policies.”

Trump on Wednesday lashed out at Nordstrom for dropping his daughter’s product line.

“My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” he tweeted.

Spicer on Wednesday called Nordstrom’s move “an attack on [Trump’s] daughter.”

“He ran for president, he won, he’s leading this country, and I think for people to take out their concern about his actions or executive orders on members of his family, he has every right to stand up for members of his family and applaud their business activity and success,” Spicer said. “When it comes to his family, he’ll be clear about how proud he is and what they’ve accomplished. For someone to take out their concern with his policies on a family member of his is not acceptable and the president has every right as a father to stand up for them.”

Last week, Nordstrom, the Seattle-based retail giant, told The Seattle Times it would no longer carry Ivanka Trump’s line of clothing and accessories based on poor sales performance.

Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, is a senior adviser to President Trump. She does not have an official role within the White House but is among the most influential people in her father’s inner circle.

Nordstrom said the decision to drop Ivanka Trump’s line came because of poor sales.

“We’ve got thousands of brands,” a Nordstrom spokesperson told the Seattle newspaper. “Each year we cut about 10 percent and refresh our assortment with about the same amount. In this case, based on the brand’s performance we’ve decided not to buy it for this season.”

But the department store has been under tremendous pressure to separate itself from controversial first family. Some groups are pushing for boycotts of retailers that sell Trump products.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that another retailer, T.J. Maxx, told its employees to throw away signs advertising Ivanka Trump’s line. T.J. Maxx also directed its stores to mix Trump’s line in with other products, which would make them less visible in stores.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) weighed in on the Nordstrom controversy Wednesday, saying it was unbecoming of a president but perfectly befitting of Trump.

“I think it’s inappropriate, but he’s a totally inappropriate president, so it’s totally in keeping with whom he is,” Pelosi told reporters at the start of the Democrats annual issues retreat in Baltimore.


Mike Lillis contributed