Trump Advisor Conway Could Face Disciplinary Action
It’s another day and another moment in the Donald Trump era where staffers are either making up fake massacres or breaking federal regulations. Kellyanne Conway brings the Trump administration’s latest error to the forefront by doing the latter.
Conway, whom many may remember as the one who came up with the “Bowling Green” massacre (which she referenced many times before saying it on the air), recently joined Fox News’ Fox and Friends to discuss how Nordstrom has dropped Ivanka Trump’s clothing apparel from its stores.
President Trump has already taken to Twitter to speak ill of the clothing store and Conway was brought to Fox to discuss that exchange. However, where she got into trouble was when she told viewers to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff,” and stating, “I’m going to just give a free commercial here. Go buy it today everybody. You can find it online.”
According to the law, Conway isn’t allowed to do anything of the sort. Federal regulations state that an “employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain, for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the private gain of friends, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity.” Which is exactly what Conway did with her “free commercial.”
While there were many on social media who took slight at that, it seems that Twitter isn’t the only thing that Conway has to worry about. Leading Democrats want her to be held accountable for breaking the federal regulations, even if her boss is currently getting away with it. Trump not only used his own Twitter handle to berate Nordstrom but also had the @POTUS handle retweet his tirade. That handle is funded by the taxpayers as in the people running it are federal employees.
“This appears to be a textbook violation of government ethics laws and regulations enacted to prevent the abuse of an employee’s government position,” Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Cummings wrote to Chairman Jason Chaffetz. “Since the Committee has direct jurisdiction over the ethics laws applicable to White House employees, I request that the Committee make an official referral of this matter to the Office of Government Ethics and request that it report back to the Committee as soon as possible with its findings.”
Cummings wasn’t the only one who was shocked at what Conway said as former counsel Don Fox, who worked with the OGE chimed in to the Washington Post.
Don W. Fox, former general counsel and former acting director of OGE, told The Washington Post that “Conway’s encouragement to buy Ivanka’s stuff would seem to be a clear violation of rules prohibiting misuse of public office for anyone’s private gain. This is jaw-dropping to me. This rule has been promulgated by the federal Office of Government Ethics as part of the Standards of Conduct for all executive branch employees and it applies to all members of the armed forces as well.”