‘Free commercial’: Kellyanne Conway plugs Ivanka Trump’s fashion line during live interview

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to President Trump, said in an interview from the White House that people should “go buy Ivanka’s stuff.”

Conway made the plug Thursday in an interview with Fox News Channel, one day after the president attacked Nordstrom department stores for dropping his daughter’s fashion line.

“This is a very successful businesswoman,” Conway said, before offering statistics about how many stores sell Ivanka Trump merchandise and calling her a “champion for women empowerment.”

“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff, is what I would tell you,” Conway said. “It’s a wonderful line. I own some of it. I fully — I’m going to just, I’m going to give a free commercial here: Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”

Federal law says that public employees may not use their positions “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.”

Larry Noble, the general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan organization of election law experts, said that in his opinion, Conway “may have violated the law.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Richard Painter, who served as chief ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, said he would not address whether any White House official was violating the law.

But he said public officials, when giving public speeches or TV interviews in an official capacity, may not promote the products of “a particular private business belonging to the employee’s own family, the President’s family, a friend, a campaign contributor or anyone else.”

“That was strictly forbidden in the Bush administration because it is illegal,” he said.

Stan Brand, a former chief legal officer for the House of Representatives, said that Conway’s endorsement appeared to be “technically a violation.”

He suggested it was doubtful that any law enforcement official would pursue “a single statement like this,” but he said “a pattern or practice of such conduct could become a problem.”

Nordstrom said last week that it would no longer carry Ivanka Trump’s line of clothing and accessories because of “brand performance.” An online campaign called #GrabYourWallet has encouraged shoppers to boycott Ivanka Trump merchandise.

In addition, the company that owns TJ Maxx and Marshalls said that it recently sent a memo to workers instructing them not to highlight the Ivanka Trump brand in stores. It did not provide a reason for those instructions.

And the Belk department store chain said it plans to pull Ivanka Trump products from its website, but will continue to offer them in stores. Belk said the decision was a response to customer feedback.

On Wednesday, Trump tore into Nordstrom for mistreating his daughter.

“My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” he tweeted.

The message was retweeted by the official presidential Twitter account, @POTUS, and raised eyebrows among ethics lawyers.

Noble said the president’s tweet was “totally out of line.”

“He should not be promoting his daughter’s line, he should not be attacking a company that has business dealings with his daughter, and it just shows the massive amount of problems we have with his business holdings and his family’s business holdings,” Noble said Wednesday.

The rules on endorsements by public officials exempt the president and vice president.

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, defended the president’s use of the @POTUS handle to discuss his daughter’s business.

“This was less about his family’s business and an attack on his daughter,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

Trademark and Copyright 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News