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Congressman Ted Lieu

Representing the 33rd District of California

Dem: Conway pitch for Ivanka's brand ‘clear violation’ of law

February 9, 2017
In The News

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) says Kellyanne Conway broke the law by promoting Ivanka Trump’s clothing and accessories line in an interview on Fox News.

Conway, who is President Trump’s counselor, urged viewers on Thursday’s broadcast of “Fox & Friends” to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff” while speaking from the White House briefing room.

“Ms. Conway’s endorsement of any privately owned business – let alone a company owned by an immediate family member of her employer, the President of the United States – is a clear violation of federal ethics law,” Lieu wrote Thursday in a letter to Walter Schaub Jr., the director of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE). "The regulations in this area are quite clear. Ms. Conway’s comments are a clear violation of the letter and spirit of the law.”

Lieu said the office must “immediately notify the White House of the violation of government ethics law in order to prompt corrective action” for Conway.

The Democrat cited a portion of federal ethics law that reads “an employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain [or] for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the private gain of friends, relatives.”

“Addressing this early and egregious violation is critical to ensuring the Administration’s future adherence to law,” Lieu said.

Conway earlier Thursday said she would give “a free commercial” for Ivanka Trump's clothing line and encouraged viewers to buy her products during the interview in the White House briefing room.

Conway's comments came after President Trump on Wednesday hammered Nordstrom for dropping his daughter’s clothing line.

“My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom,” he tweeted. "She is a great person – always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!”

Nordstrom later that day defended its decision, arguing its judgment stemmed from the “performance” of Ivanka Trump’s brand.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Thursday said Conway had been “counseled” over her comments.

But critics seized on the controversy, saying it highlighted questions about business conflicts of interest in the Trump administration.