Society

Ethics Office: Conway Committed 'Clear Violation'

| by Robert Fowler

The Office of Government Ethics has recommended that White House aide Kellyanne Conway be investigated for advertising first daughter Ivanka Trump's private brand from her platform of the press briefing room.

On Feb. 13, OGE director Walter Shaub submitted a letter chastising Conway to White House counsel Susan Passantino. The letter was subsequently given to both the chairman and ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, Politico reports.

"I recommend that the White House investigate Ms. Conway's actions and consider taking disciplinary action against her," Shaub wrote.

On Feb. 9, Conway plugged Ivanka Trump's fashion line during an interview from the White House press room. The senior adviser had been defending President Donald Trump for blasting the retail company Nordstrom after it had dropped his daughter's products from its shelves.

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"Go buy Ivanka's stuff, is what I would tell you," Conway told Fox News. "I'm going to give it a free commercial here. Go buy today."

Later that day, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that Conway had been counseled for her remarks.

"Kellyanne has been counseled, and that's all we are going to go with," Spicer said, according to The Hill.

Shaub concluded that because Conway had been speaking from the White House press room, she had been operating under her capacity as a government official.

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"She used that interview, however, as an opportunity to market Ms. Trump's products," Shaub wrote.

The OGE director added that despite Spicer's assertion that Conway had been counseled, his office had not receive word of any disciplinary or corrective action. He requested that the White House update his office of any actions or investigations on Conway no later than Feb. 28.

Conway has previously brushed aside concerns that her televised advertisement could imperil her position in the White House. The same evening that the controversy over her remarks erupted, Conway asserted that Trump "supports me 100 percent."

An anonymous source with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that Trump is firmly on Conway's side and was more upset that Spicer would tell reporters that she had been counseled for her advertisement.

Chaffetz has blasted Conway for her actions but it remains unclear whether his committee will pursue an investigation. The chairman has called Conway’s remarks "wrong, wrong, wrong, clearly over the line, unacceptable."

Sources: APFox NewsFox News via YouTubeThe HillPolitico / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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