White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway is getting more media attention than she wants the last two weeks. This week’s issue is her blatant endorsement of Ivanka Trump’s clothing line, which may prove to have been an ethics violation.
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Her troubles escalated last week with her now infamous comments on the “Bowling Green Massacre.” There was no terrorist attack in Bowling Green, and the slip-up cost Conway credibility points with media who had dismissed her when she coined the phrase “alternative facts.”
Now, she may be facing ethics charges. The comments in question were made Thursday morning during one of Conway’s frequent visits to Fox News.
“It is just a wonderful line. I own some of it,” Conway said in her interview with Fox and Friends. “I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
After, the pundits began weighing in on her comments. Behind closed doors, politicians were discussing their options, too. House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was one of them. Chaffetz has now initiated an ethics investigation focused on Conway’s promotion of Ivanka Trump’s brand.
In a conversation with reporters, Chaffetz called Conway’s promotion of the President’s Daughter’s brand “clearly over the line” and “unacceptable.” And Chaffetz isn’t alone in his view of the comments. He is joined in the ethics referral by Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). Together, the pair will refer Conway to the Office of Government Ethics who will conduct the investigation.
“It should have never happened, and they better learn this lesson very quick,” Chaffetz told NBC.
Many see Chaffetz’s complaints as a thinly veiled attempt to punish President Donald Trump for his own questionable position regarding his daughter’s line. He has made comments that many of his critics feel are actionable ethics violations, and this has left his critics questioning why the Office of Government Ethics wouldn’t investigate him.
Conway’s remarks were in reference to this week’s decision by Nordstrom to drop the Ivanka Trump fashion line. Nordstrom has been under political pressure to drop the line, but claim their rational is based solely on declining sales.
The possible ethics violation stems from a rule that says government employees are not allowed to use their public office to make product endorsements.