WASHINGTON — Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to President Donald Trump, was “counseled” after promoting Ivanka Trump’s clothing and accessory brand during an interview from the White House on Thursday morning.
“Kellyanne has been counseled,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said during his daily briefing. “She’s been counseled on that subject.”
Conway, in a Fox News interview from the White House, urged people to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff.”
“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.”
The comments could run afoul with federal law that bars public employees from making an “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.”
The head of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, called the promotion of the brand “unacceptable” and “clearly over the line.”
The leading Democrat on the committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, sent a letter to Chaffetz urging him to investigate Conway over the comments.
“This appears to be a textbook violation of government ethics laws and regulations enacted to prevent the abuse of an employee’s government position,” Cummings wrote.
It’s the latest in a string of ethics concerns raised about the Trump administration’s relationship with the family’s private businesses since he assumed office.
Spicer did not outline what he meant by Conway being “counseled.”
When pressed for details, Spicer simply said: “That’s it.”