President Donald Trump has taken to social media to blast the retail chain Nordstrom for dropping a clothing brand headed by his daughter, Ivanka Trump. Nordstrom had asserted that they had discontinued selling the Trump clothing brand because of underwhelming sales.
On Feb. 8, the president used his personal Twitter account to knock Nordstrom for its private business decision to stop selling Ivanka Trump's brand.
"My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by [Nordstrom]," Trump tweeted out. "She is a great person -- always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!"
Trump's statement was then retweeted by his official @POTUS account, a profile that has historically only addressed government issues.
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On Feb. 3, Nordstrom announced that it would cut Ivanka Trump's brand from its stores for the spring season. The retail giant had been facing pressure from the Grab Your Wallet campaign, a group advocating for customers to boycott Trump family products, but management asserts that the decision was based on sales.
"In this case, based on the brand's performance, we've decided not to buy it for this season," Nordstrom told Bloomberg Technology.
Whether or not Nordstrom had cut Ivanka Trump's brand due to political concerns or sales, the president's tweet has given ethics experts pause. Trump has already been under heavy scrutiny from ethics watchdogs for placing his organization under the management of his two eldest sons instead of a blind trust.
Norman Eisen, who had served as former President Barack Obama's chief ethics officer, took to social media to blast Trump for knocking a private company, USA Today reports.
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"Outrageous," Eisen tweeted out in response. The former White House ethics officer recommended that Nordstrom should pursue legal action against the president under California's Unfair Competition Law.
General counsel Larry Noble of the Campaign Legal Center believes that Trump's latest tweet is a symptom of the president's overall conflicts of interest.
"He should not be promoting his daughter's line, he should not be attacking a company that has business dealing with his daughter, and it just shows the massive amount of problems we have with his business holdings and his family's business holdings," Noble told CNN Money.
Noble noted that the only reason that Trump will likely not face repercussions for the tweet is because presidents are largely exempted from conflict of interest laws.
"If he was any other government employee, this would be illegal," Noble concluded.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer later told reporters that the president was justified in blasting Nordstrom on Ivanka Trump's behalf.
"This is a direct attack on his policies and her name," Spicer said, according to Talking Points Memo.