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White House urged to discipline Conway over 'free commercial' for Ivanka

The Trump aide urged shoppers to buy Ivanka-branded products after retailer Nordstrom announced it would stop selling them.

THE HEAD OF the US Office of Government Ethics has urged the White House to investigate a key aide to Donald Trump for plugging the fashion brand of the president’s daughter, saying she should likely face disciplinary action.

Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway gave Ivanka Trump’s clothing a rave review during an interview with the Fox network last Thursday, with the White House seal clearly visible over her left shoulder.

Source: BBC News/YouTube

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said afterwards that Conway had been “counselled” over the potential ethics breach, without providing more detail.

But this week , OGE director Walter Shaub wrote a letter to the White House stating that: “Under the present circumstances, there is strong reason to believe that Ms Conway has violated the Standards of Conduct and that disciplinary action is warranted.”

“I recommend that the White House investigate Ms Conway’s actions and consider taking disciplinary action against her,” he said.

Conway urged shoppers to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff” after retailer Nordstrom announced it would stop selling Ivanka Trump’s clothing, a decision it said was based purely on commercial merit.

“I hate shopping — I’m going to buy stuff today,” said the Trump advisor, describing her own comments as a free commercial.

Conway also told Fox News:

I do find it ironic that you have some executives all over the internet bragging about what they’ve done to her and her line, and yet they’re using the most prominent woman — she’s his daughter — who has been a champion for women empowerment, women in the workplace, to get to him.

The president had previously hit out at the high-end retailer, posting 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!”

Democrat Elijah Cummings and Republican Jason Chaffetz – both lawmakers on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which Chaffetz chairs –have led calls for Conway to face rebuke.

“Conway’s statements clearly violate the ethical principles for federal employees and are unacceptable,” the congressmen said in a letter to Shaub, requesting that he recommend “appropriate disciplinary action” against her.

A boycott of Trump-branded merchandise has been organised by opponents of the Republican president, via social media.

© – AFP 2017 with reporting by Daragh Brophy.

Read: Trump campaign team had contacts with senior Russian officials – report >

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