Today in an interview with Fox News, Trump’s already controversial top adviser, Kellyanne Conway, may have violated a federal ethics rule, putting her at risk for penalty or trial. Conway overtly urged viewers to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff” and continued to rave about her brand, turning the interview into a glorified Ivanka Trump informercial. The most likely reason for her enthusiastic promotion is Nordstrom’s decision to stop selling Ivanka’s line and Donald Trump’s Twitter fit that followed.
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
Without much inspection, it is very clear that the rule stating that government officials “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 employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity” has been violated by Conway. The fact that she was also speaking as a representative of the White House makes this violation much more serious.
The fact that there seems to be no argument or push back from Trump or any of his supporters is definitely a change from his usual angry rhetoric that follows any minor, or major dispute. In addition to the unusual silence Twitter addressing the issue, Trump and Ivanka have both resigned from their positions as executives from the Trump family organization and business and Ivanka has stepped down from her brand’s leadership position, individually.
Within the next few days, we can most likely expect to hear more on whether or not Conway will be facing a trial for violating the federal ethics rules or if she will get away with it this time. Regardless of what occurs, officials such as Conway must have an eye kept on them and receive extra training to prevent further violations.