The story started a few days ago when Nordstrom dropped Ivanka Trump’s fashion line due to poor sales. (Incidentally, Nordstrom isn’t the first or the only retailer that no longer wants to sell her merchandise.) Nordstrom’s decision inspired President Trump to tweet: “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person – always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” (The tweet was retweeted on the official POTUS Twitter account!)
Donald Jr. came to defense of his sister on Twitter, too. He shared a link to a story on the right-wing news Website Breitbart which reported that republican women plan to boycott Nordstrom.
On Thursday (02/09/17), Kellyanne Conway, in her official capacity as a counselor to the President of the United States, from the White House no less, openly promoted Ivanka Trump’s fashions on TV by saying: “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff!” “This is just a wonderful line. I own some of it, I fully – I’m going to give a free commercial here, go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
WOW! One has to ask whether it is our White House or a Trump family’s business!
In the words of Richard Painter, an ethics lawyer for George W. Bush’s White House:
“It is a violation of federal ethics regulations prohibiting use of public office for private gain for any government employee in an official speech, an official capacity TV interview or any similar communication to promote the products or services of a particular private business belonging to the employee’s own family, the president’s family, a friend, a campaign contributor or anyone else.”
The Department of Justice has been called upon by outside ethics watchdog groups to investigate President Trump’s director of social media, Dan Scavino for retweeting Donald Trump’s tweet against Nordstrom on POTUS official account on Twitter.
Both actions, peddling wares from the White House and retweeting private business-related messages on POTUS Twitter account are blatant violations of ethics rules governing executive branch employees. Both offenders (well, we won’t mention the third…) SHOULD BE subject to disciplinary action. Apparently, not in today’s political climate in Washington.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer mentioned in passing that Kellyanne Conway “has been counseled” (not disciplined, mind you!), already.
Shortly after, while speaking with the media, Kellyanne herself stated that she acts with a full approval of the President.
It may no longer be our White House but the headquarters of the Trump Emporium.
Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich