Spicer attacks Nordstrom for discontinuing Ivanka Trump merchandise, calls decision ‘unacceptable’

Nordstrom says the decision was made because Ivanka-branded products aren’t selling.

During his Wednesday press conference, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer characterized Nordstrom’s decision to discontinue sales of Ivanka Trump-branded products as “an attack” that is “not acceptable.”

Nordstrom says the decision was strictly business, but Spicer made clear he interprets the move as unfairly targeting the president’s family because of policy disagreements.

A reporter broached the topic by referring back to a tweet the president posted earlier Wednesday attacking Nordstrom (the message was later retweeted by the official @POTUS account):

During Wednesday’s presser, a reporter asked Spicer how the president is making decisions about when it’s appropriate to tweet about his kids’ business interests.

But Spicer rejected the premise that Nordstrom’s decision had anything to do with business in the first place.

“I think this was less about his family business than an attack on his daughter,” Spicer said. “I think for people to take out their concern about his actions or his executive orders on members of his family, he has every right to stand up for his family and applaud their business activities, their success.”

“For someone to take out their concern with his policies on a family member of his is just not acceptable,” Spicer added. “The president has every right as a father to stand up for them.”

Later, another reporter — Hallie Jackson of NBC — followed up and asked Spicer how he can characterize Nordstrom’s move as political when company representatives have unequivocally said poor sales, not politics, led to them discontinuing sales of Ivanka’s products. But Spicer again rejected that explanation.

“I think there’s clearly a targeting of her brand,” he said. “There are clearly efforts to undermine that name based on her father’s position, based on particular policies that he has taken. This is a direct attack on his policies and her name.”

Spicer’s message was clear — businesses that make decisions cutting against the financial interests of the president and his family will be subject to retribution.

But that approach could be problematic for Trump. Shortly after the president went after Nordstrom, former Obama administration ethics czar Norm Eisen threatened to help Nordstrom work on an “Unfair Competition” lawsuit against the president.

Meanwhile, the New York Times broke news that “employees at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls got very clear instructions about where to put signs for Ivanka Trump products: in the garbage.” The stores aren’t totally removing Ivanka-branded merchandise, but will stop featuring it, the Times reports.