President Trump’s Senior Advisor Kellyanne Conway is no stranger to controversy. She’s been in a constant battle with the media since Trump took office, famously coming under fire for her use of “alternative facts” and her “Bowling Green Massacre” example for tightening border security. But while her interviews have come under fire in the past, she’s never crossed any ethical lines – until now. Conway took advantage of a live national news broadcast to go off topic and specifically plug Ivanka Trump’s clothing brand. Is Conway in trouble?
How Does Kellyane Conway’s “Commercial” Affect the Trump Administration?
President Trump has been a lightning rod for controversy. Every executive order he signs and every candidate he nominates regardless of position causes arguments and debate between Republicans and Democrats. So when Donald Trump used his personal account to chastise Nordstrom for dropping Ivanka Trump’s clothing line, and then retweeting that from the POTUS Twitter account, Democrats said he went too far.
But the real fuel for their fire came as Kellyanne Conway stepped in to back Trump in an interview with Fox news. After an interview question came up about Ivanka, Conway responded with “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff, is what I would tell you. 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.”
Democrats went wild as Conway may have crossed a significant ethics boundary. Federal law prohibits public employees from using their positions to endorse any product, service, person, or enterprise. That includes friends, family, or people with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity.
Check out this article! Spicer: Conway has been 'counseled' after Ivanka Trump plug https://t.co/Ddf8x5g5Kx. Article posted at… February …
— Obama Second Term (@Obamaterm) February 9, 2017
Democrats say she broke the law, while Republicans say that code doesn’t apply to her since she’s not an elected government official. Press Secretary Sean Spicer says Conway has been “counseled” after plugging Ivanka’s clothing line, but is that enough? The Left is out for blood, and Conway may walk away without so much as a slap on the wrist.
The real significance of the plug is that it gives Democrats a foothold on which to point allegations of impropriety and ethical violations. As a result of her actions, the White House will now have ethics committees and lawyers looking at the administration through a magnifying glass. How will this affect the president? Now more than ever people will be clamoring for his tax returns and to examine a full list of his assets to ensure there is no conflict of interest.
Watch the controversial interview from CBS Los Angeles:
It will be interesting to see how the White House responds to the latest allegations of impropriety, but regardless of Trump’s response, or the outcome of Conway’s action, the damage is done and now Trump will have even more of a fight defending his actions to critics.
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