Kellyanne Conway encourages Americans to 'go buy Ivanka's stuff,' potentially violating ethics rules
President Donald Trump's top White House counselor on Thursday asked Americans to support the fashion line of Trump's daughter Ivanka, potentially violating federal government ethics rules.
Appearing on "Fox & Friends," the counselor, Kellyanne Conway, dismissed Nordstrom's decision to drop Ivanka Trump's line. She also claimed the president's daughter was the victim of online mockery from retail executives, though it wasn't clear whom she was referring to.
"I do find it ironic that you have some executives all over the internet bragging about what they've done to her and her line, and yet they're using the most prominent woman — she's his daughter — who has been a champion for women empowerment, women in the workplace, to get to him," Conway said.
She added: "Go buy Ivanka's stuff, is what I would say. I hate shopping — I'm going to buy stuff today."
Observers quickly pointed out that Conway's suggestion may violate federal ethics rules that bar White House officials from promoting products for people "with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity."
The Trump family's tangle of global business interests has raised concern among ethics observers for months.
In January, the head of the Office of Government Ethics, a top government watchdog, dubbed Trump's attempts to separate himself from his business interests "wholly inadequate."
"The plan that the president-elect has announced doesn't meet the standards that the best of his nominees are meeting and that every president in the past four decades has met," Walter Shaub said in January at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.
He continued: "Stepping back from running his business is meaningless from a conflicts-of-interest perspective. The presidency is a full-time job, and he would've had to step back anyway. The idea of setting up a trust to hold his operating businesses adds nothing to the equation. This is not a blind trust — it's not even close."
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
- The stock market is starting to ignore Trump's tweets
- Democratic senator refers Trump's tweet attacking Nordstrom to government ethics office
- More and more pundits think Al Franken could be the one to take down Trump in 2020