Kellyanne Conway’s Endorsement of Ivanka Trump’s Clothing Line May Be Unethical
Kellyanne Conway just gave Ivanka Trump’s business a resounding—and potentially unethical—endorsement.
In a Fox & Friends segment Thursday, the presidential counselor touted President Trump’s daughter’s clothing line: “This is just wonderful line,” she told the show’s hosts. “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.”
The statement is being seen as an ethics violation by lawmakers and pundits. Chris Lu, former deputy secretary of labor under President Obama, tweeted out Conway’s statement next to a screenshot of the law he believes Conway broke. The law reads: “An employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain, endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the gain of friends, relatives…”
The controversy surrounding Trump’s line comes after a number of retailers—most notably Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Shoes.com—have stopped selling it in stores. The most recent announcement came from Nordstrom last week. The retailer said it would stop selling items from the president’s daughter’s line because the brand wasn’t performing strongly. “We’ve said all along we make buying decisions based on performance,” a Nordstrom spokeswoman told Fortune in an emailed statement at the time of the decision. “In this case, based on the brand’s performance, we’ve decided not to buy it for this season.”
The move to pull Ivanka’s products came after boycotts by some shoppers who don’t support President Trump’s policies.
While Nordstrom isn’t the first retailer to take Trump products off its shelves, its announcement has garnered the most attention by far, thanks to a tweet Wednesday by President Trump, in which he said that his daughter has been “treated so unfairly.”
Despite criticism that Trump is overstepping the bounds between the personal and the presidential, he doubled down on the statement on Thursday, retweeting it from the official @POTUS Twitter account, a move that is being seen as taking his fatherly duties too far.
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