Society

Conway 'Counseled' For Plugging Trump Products

| by Robert Fowler

White House press secretary Sean Spicer has told reporters that President Donald Trump's senior adviser Kellyanne Conway has been counseled following her plugging of Ivanka Trump's fashion brand, a violation of federal regulations.

On Feb. 9, Conway encouraged consumers to purchase Ivanka Trump's products online during an interview with Fox News.

"It is just a wonderful line," Conway said. "I own some of it. I'm going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online."

The senior adviser's comments were in response to recent controversy between the White House and retail company Nordstrom, which had dropped Ivanka Trump's products from their stores, citing low sales. Nordstrom's decision had coincided with pressure from the #GrabYourWallet campaign, a group calling for consumers to boycott Trump family products.

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Trump himself had taken to social media to blast Nordstrom, a private company, for dropping his daughter's product line, tweeting out that their decision was "Terrible!"

Conway's advertising of Ivanka Trump's fashion line sparked immediate outrage, with ethics experts noting that federal regulations forbid of public officials using their platform to promote private businesses.

Spicer told reporters that Conway had been counseled on the matter but offered no other details.

"Kellyanne Conway has been counseled, and that's all we are going to go with," Spicer said, according to The Hill. "She's been counseled on the subject, and that's it."

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The ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, promptly penned a letter to the committee chairman, Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, calling for an investigation into Conway.

"This appears to be a textbook violation of government ethics laws and regulations enacted to prevent the abuse of an employee's government position," Cummings wrote, according to Salon.

Chaffetz has signaled that he agrees with Cummings, telling the Associated Press that Conway's actions were "clearly over the line, unacceptable."

The committee chairman also told NBC News reporter Benjy Sarlin that Conway's comments "should have never happened and they better learn this lesson very quick."

Sources: AP/Twitter, Benjy Sarlin/Twitter, Fox NewsThe Hill, Salon / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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