comscore White House adviser ‘counseled’ after hyping Ivanka Trump line | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Business Breaking | Top News

White House adviser ‘counseled’ after hyping Ivanka Trump line


    This frame grab from video provided by Fox News shows White House adviser Kellyanne during her interview with Fox News Fox and Friends, today, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. Conway defended Ivanka Trump’s fashion company, telling Fox News that Trump is a “successful businesswoman” and people should give the company their business.


    Ivanka Trump, daughter of President-elect Donald Trump, arrived at Trump Tower in New York on Nov. 11. 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 >> The White House has “counseled” a top aide to President Donald Trump after she promoted Ivanka Trump’s fashion line during a national cable television appearance from the White House.

But House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz says that’s not enough, calling what Kellyanne Conway did “wrong, wrong, wrong, clearly over the line, unacceptable.”

The Utah Republican congressman said he will join with Democratic Oversight Leader Elijah Cummings to ask the Office of Government Ethics to review the matter. Chaffetz also said he will write a formal letter to the White House lodging his irritation.

He said White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s remark that Conway has been “counseled” doesn’t go far enough.

“It needs to be dealt with,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press. “There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it.”

The ethics dustup began Wednesday with the president himself.

Reacting to news that a department store had dropped his daughter’s line of clothing and accessories, Trump tweeted — and retweeted from the official presidential account — that Ivanka Trump had been treated “so unfairly by @Nordstrom.”

Ivanka Trump does not have a specific role in the White House but moved to Washington with her husband, Jared Kushner, who is one of Trump’s closest advisers. She followed her father’s approach on business ties by handing over operating control of her fashion company but retaining ownership of it.

In a morning interview today with Fox News from the White House briefing room, Conway urged people to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff,” boasting that she was giving the brand “a free commercial here.”

While Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are not subject to ethical regulations and laws for federal employees, Conway, who is a counselor to the president, is. Among the rules: An employee shall not use his or her office “for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise.”

“For whatever reason, the White House staff evidently believes that they are protected from the law the same way the president and vice president are,” said Stuart Gilman, a former special assistant to the director of Office of Government Ethics.

He called the Conway comments “incredible,” adding that they risk wrecking the U.S. reputation around the world as a model for government employee ethics.

In addition to the House Oversight Committee, two liberal-funded government watchdogs pounced on Conway’s comments, filing ethics violation complaints with the Office of Government Ethics, which advises and oversees federal employees on such issues but is not an enforcement agency.

“Conway’s action reflects an ongoing careless disregard of the conflicts of interest laws and regulations by some members of the Trump family and Trump administration,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen. The group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington also lodged a complaint.

Spicer said Wednesday that 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.”

Ethics lawyers had a different interpretation. The implication, intended or not: Hurt my daughter’s business, and the Oval Office will come after you.

“This is a shot across the bow to everybody who is doing business with Trump or his family,” said Norman Eisen, who was President Barack Obama’s chief ethics counselor. “It’s warning them: Don’t withdraw their business.”

Though Trump has tweeted about companies such as Boeing, Carrier and General Motors, ethics experts say this time was different because it involved his daughter’s business, raising conflict-of-interest concerns.

Ethics experts have criticized Trump’s plan to separate himself from his sprawling real estate business by handing managerial control to his two adult sons. The experts want him to sell his company. Most modern presidents have sold their financial holdings and put the cash raised in a blind trust whose investments remained unknown to them.

Eisen joined with other legal scholars and lawyers to sue the president last month for allegedly violating a clause in the Constitution that prohibits government officials from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments.

Trump and his top aides have repeatedly said that Americans do not care about what Eisen and other ethics critics say. “Prior to the election it was well known that I have interests in properties all over the world,” Trump wrote on Twitter Nov. 21.

Nordstrom reiterated Wednesday that its decision was based on the brand’s performance, not politics. The company said sales of Ivanka Trump items had steadily declined over the past year, particularly in the last half of 2016, “to the point where it didn’t make good business sense for us to continue with the line for now.”

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 firm Brand Simple.

Associated Press writers Catherine Lucey in Washington and Anne D’Innocenzio and Matthew Ott in New York contributed to this report.

Comments (105)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

    • Watch Trump more than make up for it later after he figures out how to invalidate the Constitution and make himself dictator for life like his pal Putin in Russia.

    • true..the weird Kellyanne and the horrid team around the failed Trump are appalling. We all miss the elegant, brilliant, kind and inspirational President Obama.

  • People stopped buying the Ivanka Trump brand. The fact that Mr. Trump doesn’t understand that decline in sales was caused by him is par for the course. Nothing is his fault – ever.

    Retailers are discovering that they have a stock of Ivanka Trump items they can’t sell. Mr. Trump is interfering in the Nordstrom business to pressure them into buying more items that will not be sold.

    People who voted for Trump cannot afford what his family sells. People who can afford what his family sells avoid his name. Not a good place for Ivanka to be in.

    Trump is a psychotic. Every person who voted for him should be ashamed of what they’ve done.

    • Any stick to beat the dog, eh Klastri.

      This is not the first time a sitting president has blasted someone who offended his child.

      On December 6, 1950 penned a note to Washintgon Post music critic Paul Hume who had slammed the performance of daughter Margaret, a note that included this passage:

      “I’ve just read your lousy review of Margaret’s concert. I’ve come to the conclusion that you are an ‘eight ulcer man on four ulcer pay.’ It seems to me that you are a frustrated old man who wishes he could have been successful. When you write such poppy-cock as was in the back section of the paper you work for it shows conclusively that you’re off the beam and at least four of your ulcers are at work. Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below! Pegler, a gutter snipe, is a gentleman alongside you. I hope you’ll accept that statement as a worse insult than a reflection on your ancestry. – H.S.T.,” Truman

      • @ thos
        Any parent would protect their children…no matter how old they are.
        POTUS Trump h@ters can’t help themselves..their mind cannot comprehend WHY they lost in a LANDSLIDE. November 8, 2016 they popped some vessels and have never been the same since….oh wait…some always have acted like idi0ts!

        • O jeez, could U 2 drama queens get over yourselves, what was the big offense to Ivanka & protection is she needing?
          Nordstrom made a business decision, end of story.
          I’m sure the Cheetoh Führer (& Ivanka) made many similar decisions during his career as a so-called business man.

        • Keonigohan – There’s no chance whatever that you’ll understand this, but others may.

          The blowback about the President’s spectacularly out of control behavior – and his infantile tweeting – are not associated with the “devastation” with the election that you have invented and write about constantly. It’s about Trump’s illegal and unethical behavior, and the almost cartoon like incompetence of his administration. He just isn’t fit to be President.

          You preen like you had anything to do with his win. You didn’t, of course. None of the votes cast in Hawaii for Trump counted for anything, other than to reduce, slightly, his total vote loss to Mrs. Clinton.

        • klastri can take credit for lying crooked HiLIARy’s surprising beating. He still can’t get over it and his buddy Ike hasn’t been seen since the election.

        • You’re WRONG JohnnyRayBobRicey. Trump is now president as you keep pointing out (probably cause you got nothing else to point to). Trump is supposed to Make America Great Again, not Make America Great For Trumps. If he wants to defend his daughter, that’s fine, but then he should resign cause he isn’t doing anything for America by whining about how his daughter is treated. Pence would make a better president anyway, he’s more dignified and he looks and acts like a president. Trump has done a couple of good things, but mostly he has acted like a whiny little brat. Make Pence president and get rid of this clown.

      • Two issues here:

        – Nordstrom didn’t offend anyone. The Ivanka Trump line stopped selling at the end of 2016, and it is now a loss for Nordstrom. They notified Ms. Trump that they would not longer be buying her line. For an adult, that is not an offense that requires a defense from anyone about anything. Mr. Trump, sadly for the world, has the temperament of a spoiled 13 year-old – coincidentally the age that his wildly out of control behavior forced his family to enroll him in a military-type high school. He stopped maturing at that point.

        – Mr. Trump is illegally using the power of the presidency to advance a family business.

        • just another daily dose of boundless hypocrisy from the little fingers of our apprentice president:
          1. “I love to fire people”
          2. “I promise to disconnect from all Trump business affairs”

        • Klastri, why did the Trump line stop selling at the end of 2016? It actually started its decline in October 2016. Why was that? It was because some people opposed to Trump for a President decided to take it out on his daughter by urging a boycott of her brand and by putting pressure or retailers to stop carrying the brand. Here are some excerpts from Business Insider published on November 1, 2016:
          “Calls to boycott Ivanka Trump’s fashion brand are taking hold.
          Critics are urging shoppers to stop spending money at the many retailers that carry her namesake brand, including Amazon, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Marshalls, and Neiman Marcus.
          The anti-Ivanka Trump movement was launched in mid-October by brand strategist Shannon Coulter.
          It gained steam last week when a woman describing herself as a lifelong Nordstrom customer posted an open letter to the department store demanding that it stop selling items from Trump’s $100 million clothing and accessories line.”

          This shows just how small and petty liberals are. They did not like what Ivanka’s father was saying, so they took it out on her. You seem to be okay with that.

        • Consumers should take it out on her and anybody else whose message that they don’t agree with…Guilt by association, you want to sell stuff then work on PR skills, what you say and who you hang with affect your brand…#MAGA

        • Ronin006 – A lot of people have been interviewed about this. People do not want to buy or wear or be associated with the Trump name. So sales have fallen sharply on all Trump brands nationwide.

          And yes, I am fine with that. Mr. Trump and his family are obviously in this for the money, and that’s the weapon that is being used against time. People are voting with their wallets.

          Our own firm disallowed any employee or partner reimbursements for any expenses at any property or business named Trump or associated with Trump. Since we’ve already filed perhaps a dozen law suits against Trump, not prohibiting what is essentially a bribe to him would be a clear conflict of interest. Plus, we don’t want to enable his ongoing and deepening cesspool of conflicts.

          Mr. Trump, with his own words and deeds, has poisoned Ms. Trump’s brand. That is not something an adult would blame on Nordstrom. But Mr. Trump is profoundly mentally ill and is unable to admit his manifest failures, so he is bound to lash out and blame everyone except himself.

        • klastri..No one cares about you and your firm. Get over it. You lost and can’t accept defeat. Go cry to Mommy. Your tears are soaking up the board.

        • Klastri, I believe there are many people who want to purchase and wear Ivanka Trump’s brand but dare not do so for fear of being physically assaulted or harassed by liberal nut jobs of which there are many.

        • Ronin006 – I see … well, that’s another of your remarkable theories. There has not been one single report, anywhere in the country, of that happening. But you think that fear of physical attack in public is the reason that people aren’t buying her clothes online from

          You are actually suggesting that “liberal nut jobs” – whatever that means in your mind – would somehow flip over the label of what women are wearing to see if it’s an Ivanka Trump dress? And then attack a woman for wearing that dress?

          You have some mind!

        • The “Jobs President ” tried to put an American company out of business for not carrying his daughter’s clothes that are made in China.

          Can’t make this stuff up…….

        • “Companies across America are making the commitment to creating thousands of new jobs everyday:

          11/29/2016: Carrier pledges to create 1,000 new jobs
          12/28/2016: Sprint and OneWeb announces creating and saving of 8,000 jobs
          01/17/2017: GM pledges $1 billion in manufacturing to create 1,500 new jobs
          02/08/2017: Intel announces $7 Billion investment in 10,000 new jobs in Arizona
          President Trump made a promise to this country – bring jobs back to America. The spirit of optimism sweeping the country is already boosting job growth, and it is only the beginning.

          Over the next 4 years, President Trump is committed to creating new policies and embracing challenges in the labor force that will put America First in job creation, growth and innovation.

          We are getting America back to work. And with each new success, we continue to make America great again.”

        • I wonder if they counseled her on the fake Bowling Green massacre, and her alternate facts comment?

  • Why doesn’t the SA report the REAL news here. The WH has generated a list of arrested terrorist from those 7 Countries with the temporary ban of migrants. If was taught and believe to this day, There’s no money in the Whole Wide World that can bring anyone back from the dead! So why let anyone into the US without proper extreme vetting from those 7 countries that your Liberal Barry’s Administration and Congress recognized at troubling? This is all politics with complete disregard of every US citizen who cares about their life’s safety or those who put Politics ahead of their own lives and the others that do care! These Libertards and Democrats today are of the SPOILED generation thinking of only themselves and their agenda.

    • SA, like most of the “news” media does not so much PRESENT the news as PREVENT it when factual reporting would run counter to the political narrative they push.

      • Very funny.

        The biggest favor the media could do for this dog and pony show would be to cap their lenses and switch off their mics and thus PREVENT heartwarming scenes like boss’s daughter’s clothing line endorsements on Fox News, “alternative facts,” “grab ’em by the ‘wherever'” and the rest of it.

        News prevention would be a gift you don’t deserve.

    • IRT Pocho: SA obviously reporting this because of ALL the clicks that you and other Trumpers keep providing them…You do understand that you guys help to support SA every time you come on here and post it read the stories…Why should they stop…#MAGA

    • Why don’t you comment on this article? Are you okay with yet another foot in the mouth by Connway? Even the real republicans are not.

      By the way, how many murders have immigrants committed in the US? Now compare that to how many kids were accidentally shot during that period…which should be a priority?

      • Agreed, great point, protect America from the greater threat first…LESSER outside threats seem to be SCARING them more than GREATER inside threats…#MAGA

    • Pocho I’m not a democrat or republican if I don’t like a product I won’t buy it. If a business does not make money on a product they stop selling it. It’s called a free market. Ms. Connway violated ethics rules. I guess if you don’t have any ethics then it would be hard to recognize any violations by you. Alternate facts.

  • Chump thinks that he can do whatever he wants and get whatever he desires simply by opening his mouth. Well, news flash! Your finding out reallll fast that now since your under the microscope, it dosent happen that way! Keep on acting like a spoiled bully and the pieces will continue to crumble under you. Most of us have NO respect for this clown. As far as the supporters, you can stand in line with him for all we care, because as long as he keeps acting like he owns this country, it will get even more divided as the days and months go by!

  • Trump tweeted about Nordstrom from an unsecure Android phone 20 minutes after the scheduled start of his daily intelligence briefing. Did he skip the briefing because he thought Ivanka’s clothing line was more important? Or was he not paying attention during the briefing? Why did he have an unsecure device with a microphone in a top secret meeting?

  • Here’s another news bit about Sen. Richard Blumenthal who’s just another LYIN LIbertard/Democrat politician as claiming to have served in Vietnam. His excuse he misspoke words, YEAH right! How can you die hard Democrats/Libertards stick to your party with all the LIES,DECEITS, etc. that comes out in public view. It amazes me how politics can make one disregard one’s fault because of hate of the other Party. That thinking is INSANITY

        • @ Mito
          “The day after Benghazi happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism”
          “I didn’t call the Islamic State a ‘JV’ team”
          “We have fired a whole bunch of people who are in charge of these [VA] facilities”
          “If you like your Dr you can keep your Dr”
          “Each family will save $2500 a year”
          “If you like your Health Plan you can keep your Health Plan”

          I’ll stop here.
          “The most realistic estimates for jobs created by Keystone XL are maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline.”

        • All he’s done so far is f-ck up big time. I am actually happy now that he did win the election because he’s only 20 days into his circus and the world is watching the chief snowflake melt away. The Chump is on the world stage stumbling and falling on his stoopid a-s.

        • The entire world is laughing at Trump, and believes the U.S. to be the dumbest country on Earth for electing him President. The U.S. has lost all respect in the eyes of the world. Our President embarrasses us daily with his amateurish rants and tweets.
          Luckily, we can drain the cesspool in four years, and undo all the damage Trump has done, and be rid of all the unqualified persons in his cabinet positions.

  • This has nothing to do with whether you are a Trump suppoter or hater. The issue here is a violation of ethics law. Trump certainly has a right to defend his daughter, but representing himself as a citizen. But Trump is in violation of going after Nordstrom in his capacity of POTUS. The federal ethics law is very clear about it being illegal for any federal employee to use his or her official capacity for personal benefit.

    In this case, the fact (as opposed to “Alternative Fact”) that Trump has used official government twitter account to defend his daughter in a personal matter is a clear violation of the law.

    No one faults a father defending his daughter but Trump cannot be allowed to follow separate rules from the rest of the US citizens. Otherwise we have an “Animal Farm.” “All animals are created equal. But some animals are more equal than other animals,” read the book. Good parallel to the Trump Adinistration.

  • Kellyanne (“Bowling Green Massacre”) Conway violated key ethics rules when she hyped Ivanka’s clothing line. There are no ethical standards in the Trump White House. The swamp is overflowing.

  • Sure they can shift the blame that it was “Poor Sales”. I don’t buy it! It’s Political! Bet on it!
    However,If there was a Contract involved? Nordstrom could take a big hit! Knowing the Trumps,they are NO Bodies fools. BTW? didn’t the first lady WIN a settlement just recently? Heard it was Big Dollars!HUGE!
    Making Money off Fake News,seems to be the way to go these days! haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

  • simple
    Nordstroms elected to stop selling this line because they got a bunch of whiners threatening to boycott nordstroms – that was in all the news
    nordstroms made their own decision and they will have impacts from both sides
    its their business

    Trump simply sent out the truth that its all about the whiners doing what they can to UN DO their loss in the election
    hurt him and his family in any way they can – shameful behavior on the part of the whiners
    give it up-=
    you all lost and whining like a baby makes you look and sound stupid…..
    do what the good folks did last election – work with the elected present and congress
    don’t act like those that you clearly hate
    grow up
    oh – and elizibeth warren- I think should have a new, more precisely desctiptive hashtag

    • That’s a good story, but it’s not true. People with money have stopped buying Ms. Trump’s clothing. Her line is already at off-price retailers, deeply discounted, who also can’t sell them.

      It’s not whiners, as you lied about . It’s money

    • The Chumps presidency won’t last long. He’ll loose by TKO. You all have to remember that we the people have the power. We can make you or break you. You Chumpsters need to also remember that WE outnumber you by 3 million and that is no fraud.

  • Trump cannot rise above pettiness. He cannot rise to being Presidential. He does not even realize that his behavior is hurting his Presidential aspirations. He’s not MY President.

  • Love Kellyann Conway. She is not afraid to hit back and is a terrific spokesperson for the Trump Administration.
    Like Trump, she is not about being politically correct.

    • In case you missed it the first time around:

      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.

      • Kelly Ann continues to do a great job. Keep up the good work and throw em a softball once in awhile. Keeps them off stride. President Trump is driving the libs crazy.

        • With all due respect, you should never use the words “Trump” and “crazy” in the same sentence. Thought that might help your arguments going forward.

        • you’re really funny
          such a great job that the so-called “counselor to the president” received “counseling”
          …as in “behavioral therapy or guidance to deal w/ personal problems”… (merriam webster)

  • The Trump administration is impossibly out of control now. They are violating laws right and left.

    The administration is rotten from top to bottom. Mostly top.

  • Unbelievable we have so incompetent people in the White House or are they just publicity seekers. 47 months left and more controversy in the first month than most president’s whole term. Very scary to think what the country will look like within a year.

  • … and with a clueless maniac at the helm, the ship begins to pitch and roll more and all the loose cannons on deck roll faster and crash harder into things. The ship is in peril.

  • V.P Pence is keeping very quiet. He’s just biding his time, letting Trump to hang himself, possibly be impeached, so he can slide right into the President seat.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up