Ethics office suggests White House discipline Conway for promoting Trump products

The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) is recommending that the White House discipline senior counselor Kellyanne Conway for comments made last week on Fox News’ Fox & Friends.

Ms. Conway potentially violated ethics code when she encouraged the American public to go out and buy Ivanka Trump’s clothing and fashion items in response to an announcement that Nordstrom stores would not longer carry her products.

“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff, is what I was [saying] — I hate shopping and I’m going to go get some myself today,” Conway said.

“This is just [a] wonderful line,” she continued. “I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”

As an employee of the government, Conway is not supposed to use her position to promote private business interests. OGE Director Walter Shaub outlined what ethics code was violated, and why.

“Under the present circumstances, there is strong reason to believe that Ms. Conway has violated the Standards of Conduct Act and that disciplinary action is warranted,” he said.

“Executive branch officials should use the authority entrusted to them for the benefit of the American people and not for private profit,” Shaub wrote.

Ivanka, President Trump’s daughter, made a name for herself in the fashion industry, but has seen a significant decrease in sales after her father won the presidency.

Stores including Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and Shoes.com have also responded to the poorly performing products by pulling Trump’s line out of their stores. Her father, President Trump, first took to Twitter to complain about the retailers.

House Oversight Committee Chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), said he will refer Conway to the ethics office for further review of her actions. Thus far the White House has declined to discipline or bench Conway.

Despite the lack of White House interest in OGE recommendations, Ivanka Trump has reportedly asked Conway to refrain from discussing her products in public.

 

[NPR] [The Hill] [Allentown Morning Call] [Huffington Post] [Photo courtesy Daily Kos via YouTube]