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White House Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway and Senior Advisor for Policy Stephen Miller wait for the arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump for a meeting. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Ethics breach

Kellyanne Conway accused of breaking federal law by telling Americans ‘go buy Ivanka’s stuff’

February 9, 2017

White House senior advisor, Kellyanne Conway, may have violated federal law by telling Americans to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff.” Conway used an interview with Fox News on Thursday morning to criticize the decision by Nordstrom to discontinue Ivanka Trump’s clothing line from its stores. Conway said, “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.”

While Nordstrom made clear that its decision was made as a result of poor sales of the merchandise, rather than as an attack on the new president’s policies, Donald Trump was quick to lash out at the store tweeting, “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly.”

Ivanka was reportedly informed of the decision in early January.

Whitehouse spokesman, Sean Spicer, defended Trump’s anger on Wednesday, arguing that when companies “take out their concern about [Trump’s] actions or his executive orders on members of his family, he has every right to stand up for his family and applaud their business activities.” He stated it was “unacceptable” for anyone to target Trump’s family members in retaliation to his policies.

An ethics watchdog, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), has now filed a complaint with the Office of Government Ethics, calling for an investigation into Conway’s comments. CREW’s executive director, Noah Bookbinder, said in a statement: “The law is clear that public officials should not use their offices for their own private gain or the private gain of others. It’s hard to find a clearer case of that kind of misuse of office than we saw today.”

Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said the remarks were “a textbook violation of government ethics laws and regulations” and has called for her referral to the OGE “for potential disciplinary action.” On Thursday, the Trump administration responded to the controversy by saying Conway had been “counseled” after promoting the products, CNN reported.

Read the full story at the The Huffington Post.


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