Presidential aide Kellyanne Conway appears to have fallen foul of both the Trump family and the US government’s ethics watchdog over her unorthodox endorsement of Ivanka Trump’s fashion line.
Ms Conway, President Trump’s former electoral campaign manager, controversially urged shoppers to support Ivanka Trump’s products after Nordstrom department store’s decision to stop selling her line.
“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff, is what I would say,” she told the Fox & Friends show last week. “It’s a wonderful line.”
The move reportedly prompted Ivanka Trump to “scold” Ms Conway, according to an unnamed source quoted by Politico, for “dragging her brand into an ethics mess and told her not to mention it again on TV.”
Adding to the controversy, the US Office of Government Ethics is recommending that the White House investigate and possibly discipline Ms Conway.
In a letter made public on Tuesday, the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) wrote to White House lawyers stating there is reason to believe that Ms Conway violated the standards of ethical conduct for executive employees by endorsing Ivanka Trump’s fashion line on television.
The letter notes lawyers for the White House and OGE spoke on February 9 – the day of Conway’s interview – and that the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Oversight Committee asked OGE to follow up.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said last week that Ms Conway had been “counselled,” but the OGE said it has yet to receive any guidance on what if anything happened as a corrective action.
The OGE is requesting that White House lawyers tell them in writing by February 28 what they’ve done about the matter.
OGE letter comes a day after Mr Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned following reports he misled administration officials about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the US.
In his resignation letter, Mr Flynn said he held numerous calls with the Russian ambassador during the transition and gave “incomplete information” about those discussions to Vice-President Mike Pence.
Mr Trump has named retired Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg as the acting national security adviser.
– with AP