Was Kellyanne Conway out of line when she mentioned Ivanka Trump’s fashion line?
Conway’s comments on Fox and Friends last Thursday caused an uproar of controversy. Quite blatantly she encouraged viewers to buy Trump’s daughter’s clothing line.
Both Republicans and Democrats have criticized her for this. So outraged has the public been, the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) website crashed. It could not handle the level of inquiries and complaints following the incident.
This follows on from President Donald Trump’s tweet on February 8, the day before. President Trump defended his daughter after Nordstrom dropped her clothing line. Complaints against his tweet claimed he was abusing his power.
Had he crossed the line between public service and private business gains? Nordstrom could potentially sue for slander. However, lawyer Maxwell Blecher believes they don’t have a strong enough basis to do that.
The federal ethics rules clearly state the following:
“An employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise or for the private gain of friends, relatives or persons with whom the employed is affiliated in a non-governmental capacity”
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has stated that Conway is being counseled. It is unclear what the next step will be. Watch Dog groups, Public Citizen and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, have called for an investigation.
Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz believes there should be a hearing. Chaffetz, as well as R-Utah and Elijah Cummings, have signed and sent a joint letter to the OGE.
The OGE has no actual investigative powers
Will the White House fire Conway? She has had a 20-year career in politics without any hiccups till now. Some critics suggest she is merely parroting POTUS at his request. Other political theorists are wondering if this is a case of smoke and mirrors.
POTUS has been trying to pull off extremely controversial policies. The uproar over his immigration ban is causing immense disruption to his plans. By causing a smokescreen such as this, behind the scenes his government can carry out controversial activities.
Nordstrom claims that they had already discussed dropping the line with Trump’s daughter
They assert it was poor sales, not politics, that lead to the dissolution of their partnership. Stock ticked upward a couple of days after Nordstrom dropped the line.
Critics wonder if POTUS is struggling to extract himself from the corporate mindset. The US needs a leader that focuses on the betterment of the average American and their family.
Treating the country like a cut throat business is incompatible
Currently, Conway is refusing to discuss the incident and stated as much. During an interview with Martha MacCallum of Fox News on Thursday, she refused to comment. She did, however, acknowledge the letter regarding the ethics violation. She also reinforced that POTUS supported her and was standing behind her.
The White House also has not responded to the criticisms. It has so far refused to release an official statement.