Kellyanne Conway, who is a counselor to President Donald Trump, gave a “free commercial” for Ivanka Trump’s business this morning, speaking to Fox & Friends from the White House Briefing Room.
“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff, is what I would tell you. I hate shopping, but I am going to go get some myself today,” said Conway. “This is just — it’s a wonderful line, I own some of it, I’m just gonna give a free commercial here, go buy it today, you can buy it online.”
Conway’s comments are a particularly egregious example of how the Trump businesses are cashing in on the Trump presidency. They also appear to violate federal ethics law, which prohibits the endorsement of products by federal officials.
The specifics of the regulations around endorsements are as follows:
Larry Nobel, the former general counsel of the FEC, believes it is likely that Conway’s statements violated these provisions.
In using her official capacity to bolster Ivanka Trump’s business, Conway has plenty of company in the White House — all in reaction to retailers’ announcements that they are are dropping Ivanka Trump’s eponymous clothing line due to poor performance.
President Trump himself lashed out in response — tweeting from his @realdonaldtrump account and retweeting from the official @Potus account, which is passed from president to president.
My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
Since then, Trump’s top advisers — who are all also federal employees working on the taxpayer dime — have been backing up his attack on the company and blurring the already nonexistent line between the Trump administration and the Trump businesses.
“This is a direct attack on [the President’s] policies and her name,” Spicer said.
While touting Ivanka Trump’s business, Conway also talked about Ivanka’s close relationship with the White House, stressing that a role remains open for her whenever she decides she wants it.
The overarching message from the Trump organization is that messing with a Trump company and messing with the White House are one and the same.