Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to President Donald Trump who has been one of the most visible administration figures to defend him on cable news, was “counseled” on Thursday after she promoted Ivanka Trump’s products in what may have violated ethics rules.
In an interview on “Fox & Friends,” Conway was talking about the controversy over the decision by Nordstrom and other retailers to drop Ivanka Trump’s product lines.
“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff is what I would say,” she said. “This is just [a] wonderful line. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
Federal ethics rules prohibit the use of public office for private gain — including endorsement of any product, even those from friends and relatives.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that Conway had been “counseled” on the statement she made.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told reporters that he and the committee’s ranking member, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), will be sending a letter to the White House and the Office of Government Ethics for referral, according to NBC News.
“It should have never happened and they better learn this lesson very quick,” Chaffetz said.
Trump himself tweeted about his daughter’s brand and Nordstrom’s decision.
“My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” he wrote on Wednesday.
My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
Presidents are exempted from the ethics rules.
Nordstrom officials say that the decision to drop the brand was based on poor sales.