Ethics Office Calls for Kellyanne Conway Investigation
President Trump's senior adviser committed a “clear violation” of ethics rules when she told TV viewers to "go buy" Ivanka Trump's brand, says the Office of Government Ethics in a letter.
The government's ethics watchdog is recommending that the White House investigate and possibly discipline President Donald Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway.
In a letter made public Tuesday, the Office of Government Ethics wrote to White House attorneys that there's reason to believe that Conway violated the standards of ethical conduct for executive employees by endorsing Ivanka Trump's fashion line during a television interview on Fox & Friends last week.
“I recommend that the White House investigate Ms. Conway’s actions and consider taking disciplinary action against her,” director Walter Shaub wrote in the letter. He said Conway made a “clear violation” of ethics rules by pushing the brand during her interview, which took place from the White House briefing room, making it of "official capacity."
The letter notes lawyers for the White House and OGE spoke on Feb. 9 — the day of Conway's interview — and that the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Oversight Committee asked the OGE to follow up.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said last week that Conway has been "counseled," but the OGE said it has yet to receive any guidance on what if anything happened as a corrective action. The OGE is requesting that White House lawyers tell them in writing by Feb. 28 what they've done about the matter.
On Feb. 9, Conway encouraged viewers watching Fox News to purchase Ivanka Trump's fashion collection, saying, "Go buy Ivanka's stuff."
She added, "I'm going to give it a free commercial here, go buy it today."
Conway's comments came one day after President Trump tweeted that his daughter "has been treated so unfairly" by Nordstrom, after the retailer said it would stop carrying her brand beginning in the fall, citing declining sales.