Kellyanne Conway sparked a debate about ethics violations when she urged viewers to “go buy” first daughter Ivanka Trump’s fashion line during a Thursday, February 9, appearance on Fox & Friends. See what she had to say in the video above!
Conway, 50 — who served as President Donald Trump’s campaign manager and is now counselor to the 70-year-old business mogul — made the remarks about Ivanka’s eponymous brand after Nordstrom and several other retailers discontinued the sale of her merchandise. (Nordstrom cited poor sales as the reason for its decision to drop the line.)
“I do find it ironic that you’ve got some executives all over the internet bragging about what they’ve done to her and her line,” Conway told Fox & Friends. “And yet they’re using the most prominent woman in Donald Trump’s … she’s his daughter … and they’re using her, who’s been a champion for women empowerment, women in the workplace, to get to him.”
“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff, is what I would tell you! I hate shopping, and I’m going to get some [for] myself today,” she added. “It’s a wonderful line. I own some of it. I’m just gonna give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
Several government ethics watchdogs caught wind of Conway’s comments and suggested that she could have violated a federal ethics rule that prohibits “use of public office for private gain.” President Barack Obama’s former top ethics lawyer Norm Eisen told MSNBC that Conway broke the law “pure and simple.”
— Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) February 9, 2017
Chris Lu, the former deputy secretary of labor, tweeted the highlighted part of the law that Conway apparently violated: “An employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain, for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the private gain of friends, relatives …”
And Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard Law School, tweeted on Thursday that Conway’s on-air recommendation “isn’t just gross & unethical but it’s illegal.”
As previously reported, Nordstrom announced on Thursday, February 2, that the Seattle-based company will no longer carry Ivanka’s namesake clothing label come fall 2017. POTUS responded to the news in a heated tweet on Wednesday, February 8.
“My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom,” he wrote. “She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!”
Since then, Neiman Marcus, Belk, Jet, ShopStyle, and Home Shopping Network have all reportedly dropped Ivanka’s products, too, while T.J. Maxx and Marshalls have disposed of all in-store signs promoting her line.
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