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Ethics Office: Kellyanne Conway Should Face Investigation for TV Plug of Ivanka Trump Brand

Variety logo Variety 2/14/2017 Ted Johnson
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The Office of Government Ethics is recommending that the White House conduct an investigation and consider disciplinary action against President Trump’s adviser Kellyanne Conway, who last week urged TV viewers to buy products under Ivanka Trump’s brand.

According to the ethics office, Conway’s statement to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff,” made during an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” appeared to violate government standards of conduct that prohibit public officials from using their positions to endorse commercial products or using their office for their own private gain or for that of friends and relatives.

Conway had been discussing the decision by Nordstrom to drop Ivanka Trump’s product line, which the White House has suggested was an attack on the administration. The retailer said it was because of poor sales.

Walter Shaub, the director of the Office of Government Ethics, wrote in a letter to a White House ethics official that Conway’s remarks may be akin to a presidential appointee appearing in a television commercial to promote a product.

Conway’s title is White House Counsel. After the incident, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that she had been “counseled,” and she later said that Trump told her that he “supports me 100 percent.”

“At some point, I hope American women work for a boss that treats them the way President Trump treated me today,” she said.

Shaub gave the White House until Feb. 28 to respond with the findings of their investigation.

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