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Trump criticism of Nordstrom raises conflict concern

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Ivanka Trump, daughter of President-elect Donald Trump, arrives at Trump Tower in New York. Nordstrom shares sunk after President Trump tweeted that the department store chain had treated his daughter “so unfairly” when it announced last week that it would stop selling Ivanka Trump’s clothing and accessory line.

NEW YORK >> President Donald Trump criticized Nordstrom, the latest company to be the focus of his Twitter attention, saying Wednesday that the department store chain that decided to stop selling his daughter’s clothing and accessory line has treated her “so unfairly.”

Though he has tweeted in the past about companies such as the U.S. automakers, Boeing and Carrier, ethics experts saw the fact that this one was about a business run by his daughter raising conflict-of-interest concerns and even carrying an implicit threat.

In the message, Trump said, “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” Posted first on his personal account, it was re-tweeted more than 6,000 times in less than an hour. It was also retweeted by the official POTUS account.

Trump’s presidency has raised unprecedented concerns about ethical conflicts. His plan to separate himself from his sprawling real estate business has been criticized by ethics experts, who say it doesn’t do enough to make sure that Trump won’t make decisions to personally benefit himself, his family or his company.

Kathleen Clark, a government ethics expert, said the Nordstrom tweet is problematic because other retailers may think twice now about dropping the Ivanka Trump brand for fear of getting criticized publicly by the president. She said it was especially disturbing that Trump retweeted his message on the official White House account.

“The implicit threat was that he will use whatever authority he has to retaliate against Nordstrom, or anyone who crosses his interest,” said Clark, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

Clark defended the president’s right to use his personal Twitter account to express his views, however, pointing out that government workers at the EPA recently set up alt-EPA accounts to criticize the president’s policies. “A government employee, even a president, is allowed to tweet in his personal capacity.”

Trump has feuded with several consumer brands before and after winning the presidency. After Macy’s dropped his line of ties and shirts during the summer of 2015 over his comments about immigrants, Trump singled Macy’s out for having a tough holiday season. “Good news, disloyal Macy’s stock is in a total free fall. Don’t shop there for Christmas,” he tweeted that December. And in January of this year, he scolded General Motors for “sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border.” ”Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax,” he said.

Nordstrom reiterated Wednesday that its decision was based on the brand’s performance. Since it confirmed its decision about the brand last week, the company has been responding to disappointed or angry shoppers on its Twitter, stressing that its reasons were based on poor performance. Nordstrom shares had dropped after the tweet, like those of other companies Trump has mentioned in the past, but they later recovered to close more than 4 percent higher.

A social media campaign called “Grab Your Wallet” has urged a boycott of stores that stock Ivanka Trump or Donald Trump products, though the companies that have stopped ordering or cut back on the Ivanka Trump brand have not mentioned it.

Nordstrom said last week its decision was based on the Ivanka Trump brand’s performance, and that each year it replenishes about 10 percent of its supply with new products. On its website alone it has more than 2,000 products on its website alone. “Reviewing their merit and making edits is part of the regular rhythm of our business,” it said.

Retailer Belk Inc. said Wednesday it will no longer be carrying the Ivanka Trump brand on its website, but will still offer the merchandise at its stores. The New York Times reported that TJX Cos., which operates T.J. Maxx, told employees not to display Ivanka Trump goods separately and to discard the brand’s signs, according to a memo obtained by the paper. TJX spokeswoman Doreen Thompson confirmed the memo and said the communication was “intended to instruct stores to mix this line of merchandise into our racks, not to remove it from the sales floor.” She said that “at this time, we continue to offer the line of merchandise.”

Rosemary K. Young, senior director of marketing at Ivanka Trump, said last week that the brand is expanding and saw “significant” revenue growth last year compared to the previous year. Ivanka Trump has said she would take a leave of absence from her clothing and accessories business as well as the Trump organization.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump was responding to an “attack on his daughter” when he posted the tweet and that “he has every right to stand up for his family and applaud their business activities, their success.”

“For someone to take out their concern with his policies on a family member of his is not acceptable,” Spicer said.

Trump’s tweet was posted at 10:51 a.m., a little over 20 minutes after the scheduled start of the president’s daily intelligence briefing in the Oval Office. Spicer waved off reporters’ questions about the timing, saying the president was not otherwise occupied when he wrote the tweet.

It’s not the first time Trump’s tweets have at least temporarily affected a stock.

“What we are seeing is that we are living in a world with a different kind of chief executive in the White House,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation trade group. “He has a strong opinion on issues. We are learning to work in the environment.”

Retailers drop brands all the time because of poor performance, said brand consultant Allen Adamson, but given a highly charged political environment, perception is reality for loyal Trump fans.

“It is clearly hard for Nordstrom to tell the story that it is dropping (the brand) for business reasons,” said Adamson, founder of the consulting firm Brand Simple. “The timing is awful. The environment is full of companies taking political stands. So in this environment, it will be perceived as a political statement. Nordstrom is getting dragged into this even though they may not want to be.”

He said that the best advice he can give companies is to be clear, firm and succinct in their message.

But one thing is evident: “They shouldn’t get into a Twitter war with the president,” he added. “That is a no-win situation.”

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        • When a Trump supporter is faced with an indefensible position they fall back to blaming Hillary. Weak

        • In OTHER news, Jeff Sessions was just confirmed. Yes, I changed the subject. Your waterboard doesn’t scare me.

        • Seems very coincidental that companies suddenly gang up on Ivanka’s business. Are you aware of who is behind and funds this organized campaign? The President has a right to speak up; he’s also a citizen. Democrats are looking weaker by the minute. Democrats lost the election. Get over it.

        • MillionMonkeys> Don’t make nasty threats. Maybe you would like to be waterboarded? Billionaire SOROS and the rest of the elite DEMS are behind this, go check it out. Bad people, to create so much nonsense and disruption of our government. They should be arrested for hindering and obstructing the smooth operation of our government. Bad, bad, bad people. So don’t look only at the REPs, check your own backyard first. PILAU PEOPLE……..They are actually paying people to do things to create chaos in our country. Isn’t this something you DEMs want, sad, sad, sad…….Get a grip on your crazy emotions. The election was over on Nov 8, 2016. It’s Feb 8, 2017. 3 months have passed and still can’t come to the simple realization that we have a new POTUS. Quit acting like spoiled brats and grow up. Isn’t it about time???????

      • The rail? Here? Seriously?

        Sure, DPK. And, speaking of Trump’s ethical conflicts, I noticed the price of papayas is up again. Why don’t the AP or all of these liberals speak up about that? Hypocrites.

      • The clown prince of unethical behavior is Putin’s Puppet, Donald Dufus. Playing favorites and using the office of the president to promote his kid’s failing business reeks of favoritism and conflict of interest. He’ll be impeached before the year’s out.

        • Using his office to promote her business? Are you forgetting that the Dems have put together a coordinated effort to try and hurt the daughter’s business? DSoros and his Move-on group is about as unethical as it gets. Do you agree with Soros?

        • BluesBreaker,cajaybird> Cayjaybird, you hit the nail on the head. SOROS is a really evil person, more evil than Bannon (if he is?). POTUS is doing exactly what any father would do for their daughter if they were being targeted unfairly and for very dirty and ugly reasons. But Ivanka is tough enough to handle this situation. POTUS was just being a PAPA bear. An he isn’t going to be impeached before the year is out. Watch closely, Million Monkeys. You are so wrong in your half-a__ed estimation.

  • Can only shudder to think if Crooked Corrupt Nasty hiLIARy won…Clinton Foundation going into the billions & billions! Breaking News: Chelsea’s hubby’s hedge fund going kapoot.

    Thank Heavens WeThePeopleDeplorables woke up and VOTED for POTUS Trump! The Trump family already successful in their businesses…watching them in action and MAGA! AWESOME!

        • The real snowflake is the one in the White House. He’s the one throwing hissy-fits because big bad Alec Baldwin & Meryl Streep are mean to him…and because he still can’t seem to get over the fact that he lost the popular vote by 3 million…

        • @ magicman1433
          OMG!! Did you say Popular Vote??!! LOL
          It’s been 3 months..get over it…you LOST in a LANDSLIDE SNOWFLAKE! LOL

        • I don’t give a rat’s behind about the popular vote…I only brought it up because kim jong trump is still crying about those very 3 million votes that he lost due to “massive voter fraud”…don’t tell ME to get over it, tell your thin-skinned orange crybaby to drop it…

        • Yes! YOU tell Trump to GET OVER IT! He lost the popular vote even with his boss Putin helping him out. How weak is that?

          btw…THERE’S NO MORE HILLARY.

        • …and actually it’s kind of fun having kim jong trump as potus…I just wait to see what immature foolishness kjt has to say on Twitter about the next insignificant irrelevant bunk that distracts him…

        • You all sound like a kettle and a pot-THEY BOTH BLACK and neither matter at this point.
          Everybody needs to get over it.

        • @ MillionMonkeys
          Word is Chelsea is getting prepped to run! Something to get your hopes up.

        • @ Tita Girl
          Chelsea’s hubby’s Hedge Fund went & gone down the tubes too! The well is drying up BIG LEAGUE!

    • Instead of a President using the government, we now have one who manages it. It’s a concept foreign to many of the Dems. The President has executive experience and, smartly, he has surrounded himself with a ton of experience.

    • Yeah JohnnyRayBobRicey, Trump won! Hillary didn’t! So this is about Trump! He fell down the hill, lost his big boy pants, and cries about his daughter! How does this Make America Great Again? This isn’t Make America Great For Trumps. If he wants to defend his daughter, that’s fine, then he should just resign and let Pence be president. After all, Pence looks and behaves like a president should and he has way more respect than this Trump person that just pays lip service to America. What does Trump’s whining do to help the poor or unemployed? On this, your guy FAILS big time.

      • @ el_burrito senorita
        Get over it…you DID LOSE BIG LEAGUE! ha ha.
        I bet if you had kids and someone gav’em lickins you’d jump da kid.
        Take it easy burrito…too much hot sauce is only going to give you gas.

        POTUS Trump is doing America PROUD!

    • Yes. It’s not like the president of the United States is going to single them out in front of the entire world because of a perceived slight to his daughter or anything. Right?

  • The people raising conflict concerns are full of it. Remember the President’s children are of limits and Nordstrom has acted politically against Trump.

    • No, only the youngest one is off limits cause he’s a minor. The others are adults, so tough crap. They should have been more careful when choosing who their father was.

      • @ el_burrito senorita
        “They should have been more careful when choosing who their father was.”

        You ok? You so angry now..what happened to your calm jovial self?

  • Remember when you were growing up and your dad (or mom) did something to embarrass you? Well, multiply that a million times for Ivanka. She better ask daddy for a bump in pay to offset the damage and embarrasment he caused her.

  • Every day, Trump spotlights the fact that he is a vindictive, mean spirited psychotic. He’s sick. How can his supporters not see that?

    United States Presidents do not act like this. He’s profoundly mentally ill.

    • Trump’s followers don’t care. The white supremacists cheer his nastiness, the religious fanatics only care about his support for their issues, and the not too bright ones don’t really know what’s going on. The rest are hoping against hope that he’ll stop embarrassing them.

      • Another great day for President Trump. The loser demos don’t know where to turn. The Indian lady was sent back to her teepee. More Senate confirmations coming. The limpy wimps can’t do a thing. America the beautiful

        • And in walks the genius.

          The fact that you are not embarrassed to write something so deeply rooted in racism illustrates your breathtaking ignorance.

        • So, sarge, I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and say you might be among the last group I listed. But, based on your response, I guess not.

        • We used to play Cowboys and Indians and St Johns were the Redmen. Times were different. That lady is a pest. Nothing more. Can’t wait to see what happens to HiLIARy and the classified emails. Interesting times. Equal punishment for men and women.

  • “Honey, what are you doing up at 3:00 am?”

    “Dad, please put down the phone”

    “Just a minute dear.”

    “Dad, please! You’re going to humiliate me!”

    “There we go! Take that you unfair companies!”

    “Oh Daaaad!”

  • “After Macy’s dropped his line of ties and shirts during the summer of 2015 over his comments about immigrants, Trump singled Macy’s out for having a tough holiday season. ‘Good news, disloyal Macy’s stock in a total free fall. Don’t shop there for Christmas,’ he tweeted that December.” Real good Mr. Prez, is that how you MAGA? Does that “tweet” help our economy?

  • Don’t make papa Trump mad. He’s going to call you out. No violations here. His daughter did he same thing as he did with his businesses. Not going to manage the business but will take the profits only. How can that be a conflict? Same with daughters business. If you’ve been selling her line, you can’t stop ordering the stuff. Donald going get mad and twit you and our business out. What kind of conflict is there? He’s the POTUS and he can do anything.

  • Thought its unspoken territory not to pick on presidential children! The topic brought forward when someone picked on Trump’s young ten year old son. Chelsea Clinton commentary also defended Baron Trump’s criticism by a Comedian. I think Ivanka’s clothing line, unheard by the general public before this, may helped increase sales to the stores that have picked up her line of clothing!

    • Yeah you would probably look good in her clothes, haha. Only youngest son is off-limits because he’s a minor. The others choose to be in the spotlight except Maple so they are fair game.

    • She’s not 10, she’s 35. She’s also a public figure, member of his transition team and that puts her squarely within the ethical range of anyone who has anything to say about Trump’s administration, including the press.

  • How dare Nordstrom’s treat the President’s girlfriend like that!!!

    OMG she might have to go on food stamps. Oh wait, they’re going to eliminate that program . Guess he can set up a Go Fund Me page for her.

  • People stopped buying Ms. Trump’s brand. Trump’s followers can’t afford what the Trumps sell and the people who can afford those goods are voting again with their wallets. Nordstrom and other retailers do not carry what they cannot sell.

    Maybe she can sell her stuff in Russia. Her brand name has been destroyed here.

  • Just to somewhat balance the left biased reporting, here’s a sample of what happened a couple of years ago: “Conflict of interest disclosure reports filed by top federal officials were removed from public view by the Obama administration in recent months”. So under Obama, he kept things private while under Trump, for better and/or worse, he’s very transparent.

    • Speaking of transparency and tax returns … this from Kellyanne Conway in April of 2016 when asked if the so-called alliance between Cruz and Kasich was fair game against Trump:

      “Oh, absolutely. It’s completely transparent. Donald Trump’s tax returns aren’t, I would like to see those be transparent.”

      In the same interview, she later chastised Trump for being “unpresidential.”

      My how she’s changed her tune.

    • I can’t justify shopping at Nordstrom’s, however I love shopping at Nordstrom’s Rack. The problem isn’t that he is standing up for his daughter, for me, its the petulent and audacious atitude he has since becoming President. No humility, no responsibility, no compassion, just a lot of lies and blaming others. His blood pressure must be through the roof. He needs to unclench.

  • Trump’s highly unethical tweet happened at 10:51 a.m., 20 minutes after the scheduled start of a daily intelligence briefing, and it was sent from an unsecured Android phone. Did he skip the intelligence briefing so that he could continue his family’s efforts to profit from being in the White House? Or did he take an easily hacked phone into what should have been an extremely secure meeting?

  • SA’s “Trending Articles and Offers”. Really SA? How INAPPROPRIATE and disgusting! They (SA) posting a pic of 5 women titled “Worst Wardrobe Malfunction in Sports ever! “. C’mon guys! show some CLASS! IMUA!

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