Kellyanne Conway, one of President Trump’s top advisers, may have violated federal ethics rules on Thursday by urging people to buy fashion products marketed by Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, legal experts said.
“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff is what I would say,” Ms. Conway, whose title is counselor to the president, said in an interview with Fox News. “I’m going to give a free commercial here: Go buy it today everybody, you can find it online.”
Federal ethics rules state that an employee of the government’s executive branch “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.” Legal experts said Ms. Conway appeared to have violated those rules.
As regular readers know, I thought it was infeasible--and undesirable as a matter of policy--to force President Trump to divest his business interests. Instead, I proposed that he erect an ethics wall to separate his and his family's businesses from his political position.
Trump's initial moves in this area had some promise, as they somewhat resembled the proposal I had offered.
Using the Presidential bully pulpit to advance the interests of his family, however, is hardly in keeping with the kind of separation required.
I am reminded of something I said long long ago apropos of Presidential brothers, with Roger Clinton and Billy Carter in mind, that the Constitution should be amended so that only unmarried orphans with no children are eligible to the office.