Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to President Donald Trump, has landed herself in hot water for promoting Ivanka Trump’s clothing line on US television.
“I’m going to give it a free commercial here,” the senior White House adviser said during a Fox News interview on Thursday. “Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
The comments drew swift criticism from ethicists and top Democrats, who note that the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) forbids federal employees from using their public office to endorse products, services or enterprises.
Robert Weissman, president of liberal advocacy group Public Citizen, said in a statement that the 50-year-old’s “sales pitch” was a clear violation of the rule.
“Conway’s self-proclaimed advertisement for the Ivanka Trump fashion line demonstrates again what anyone with common sense already knew: President Trump and the Trump administration will use the government apparatus to advance the interests of the family businesses.”
The OGE is yet to publicly respond to calls to investigate the comments.
So far, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has said only that Conway “has been counselled” over the issue.
Conway's comments came on the back of a February 2 decision by US retail chain, Nordstrom Inc, to drop the First Daughter's shoes and clothing from their stores.
It was a move the company attributed to low sales, but the President didn't seem to see it that way.
"My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom," he tweeted Wednesday. "She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!"