Trump had gone after Nordstrom the day before, complaining that the store had stopped selling his daughter’s merchandise and that she “has been treated so unfairly.” His tweet about the subject, which was soon retweeted by the official White House Twitter account, immediately raised further ethical concerns about Trump’s presidency and his family’s businesses.
Conway essentially turned her Thursday morning appearance on Fox News into an infomercial, defending Ivanka Trump as “an incredibly creative, talented woman” and talking about buying the brand’s products.
“I do find it ironic that you have got some executives all over the internet bragging about what they have done to her and her line, and yet, they are using the most prominent woman in Donald Trump’s, you know, most prominent his daughter, using her, who has been a champion for women empowerment of women in the workplace, to get to him,” Conway said. “I think people could see through that. Go buy Ivanka’s stuff! I hate shopping, and I will go get some myself today.”
“It is just a wonderful line. I own some of it,” she added. “I fully, I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
In doing so, Conway may have violated a rule stating that federal officials cannot use public office to sell products.
“An employee shall not use or permit the use of his Government position or title or any authority associated with his public office to endorse any product, service or enterprise,” the law states.
Appears Kellayanne Conway may have just violated ban on Federal employee using public office for endorsement of product. 5 CFR 2635.702 https://t.co/mIvngSHCnk
— Larry Noble (@LarryNoble_DC) February 9, 2017
The Trump administration has refused to address the numerous conflicts of interest that create the appearance that the president and his family could profit from his position.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Wednesday sidestepped questions about the ethics of Trump’s statement, claiming it was justified because Nordstrom’s decision to pull Ivanka Trump’s merchandise was “a direct attack on his policies in her name” and that the president “has every right to stand up for his family.”
Nordstrom has said that the decision to drop the fashion line was related to low sales, not in protest of the Trump administration’s policies.