On Thursday morning, Kellyanne Conway spoke with Fox & Friends from the White House and delivered a straightforward message regarding the controversy surrounding retailers dropping the Ivanka Trump label.
When asked about Ivanka and her father’s tweet on Wednesday addressing her issues with Nordstrom, Kellyanne shared, “This is a very successful business woman twice. Obviously she’s stepped away from it now, but in the past she’s helped to run her family’s real estate empire. On the side, she developed another fully, unbelievably entrepreneurial, wildly successful business that bears her name.”
She addressed Ivanka’s critics, saying, “I do find it ironic that you’ve got some executives all over the Internet bragging about what they’ve done to her and her line, yet they’re using the most prominent women — she’s his daughter — who has been a champion for women empowerment, women in the workplace to get to him. So I think people can see through that.”
In her closing remarks, she delivered a message that’s making waves across the Internet. “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff is what I would tell you. I hate shopping; I’m gonna go get some myself today.”
“It’s a wonderful line. I own some of it,” she continued. “I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody.”
Kellyanne Conway, from the White House: "Go buy Ivanka's stuff!" pic.twitter.com/81QfBQpiWD
— Justin Green (@JGreenDC) February 9, 2017
Many took issue with the Counselor to the President directing viewers across the nation to buy products from the Ivanka Trump brand, believing the action was unethical and a serious conflict of interest.
Lawmakers and public officials were quick to point out Conway’s possible legal flub on Twitter. Lawrence M. Noble, General Counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, suggested she violated the ban that prohibits federal employees from the endorsement of any product.
Appears Kellayanne Conway may have just violated ban on Federal employee using public office for endorsement of product. 5 CFR 2635.702 https://t.co/mIvngSHCnk
— Larry Noble (@LarryNoble_DC) February 9, 2017
Chris Lu, former United States Deputy Secretary of Labor and former Assistant to the President and White House Cabinet Secretary for President Barack Obama, addressed Conway’s words on Twitter as well, also suggesting Conway violated federal law.
— Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) February 9, 2017
When asked about Conway’s comments is his daily briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that she was “counseled” on the “subject” of asking Americans to buy Ivanka Trump products.
Meanwhile, the House Oversight chairman called Conway’s promotion of the Ivanka Trump brand “clearly over the line, unacceptable,” the Associated Press reports.
While it’s not immediately clear whether or not Conway did in fact violate the federal ethics law, Americans across the nation reacted to her words as well.
I'm just waiting for the "QVC LIVE! from the White House" hour.
— Tom + Lorenzo® (@tomandlorenzo) February 9, 2017
"Go Buy Ivanka's Stuff",Kellyanne?How much more greediness?Priorities? is this how u guys make U.S great? Do u realize the damage u r doing?
— Veda Konduru (@vedakonduru) February 9, 2017
Kellyanne Conway just said that everyone should "go buy Ivanka's stuff". The naked profiteering off the presidency is breathtaking.
— Mike Gibson (@mike_gibson99) February 9, 2017
Surely Kellyanne using her position of office to advertise Ivanka's clothes is breaking the law?
— R. A. Kennedy (@RomeoRites) February 9, 2017
— Marilee Mai (@Owldreams) February 9, 2017
So the White House is doin plugs for Ivanka Trump's declining biz? Thanks Kellyanne for showin again the real motives of @realDonaldTrump ????
— Diara J. (@CuriousScout) February 9, 2017
Conway’s remarks come a day after President Trump addressed American retailer Nordstrom dropping his daughter’s clothing line on Twitter. “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 shared.
My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
White House spokesman Sean Spicer later defended President Trump’s tweet in his daily press briefing, saying the President has “every right to stand up for his family.”
“I think this was less about his family business than an attack on his daughter,” Spicer said. “For someone to take out their concern with his policy on a family member of his is not acceptable, and the president has every right as a father to stand up for them.”