Kellyanne Conway faces Ethics Office investigation, ‘retweets’ white nationalist same day
The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has requested the White House investigate and possibly take disciplinary action against Conway after she promoted Ivanka Trump’s clothing line during a recent televised interview on Fox News.
Conway’s interview last week on ‘Fox and Friends’ took place in the wake of Nordstrom dropping Ivanka’s clothing line. President Donald Trump had tweeted that Nordstrom treated his daughter “unfairly.”
My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person -- always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
On February 9, Conway used her time during an interview on Fox News to give a “free commercial” to Ivanka’s clothing brand, urging Americans to "Go buy Ivanka's stuff!"
“I'm going to go get some myself today," Conway said. "This is just a wonderful line...Go buy it today everybody, you can find it online.”
On Monday, Walter Shaub, director of the OGE, sent a letter to the White House, calling that a “clear violation” of ethics rules. The letter was released Tuesday by Democrats on the House oversight committee.
“Executive branch officials should use the authority entrusted to them for the benefit of the American people and not for private profit.”— House OversightDems (@OversightDems) February 14, 2017
“Under the present circumstances, there is strong reason to believe that Ms. Conway has violated the Standards of Conduct Act and that disciplinary action is warranted,” Shaub wrote. Specifically, the OGE says that Conway violated statute CFR 2635.702 of the Standards of Conduct, which prohibits employees from using their public position for private gain.
Appears Kellayanne Conway may have just violated ban on Federal employee using public office for endorsement of product. 5 CFR 2635.702 https://t.co/mIvngSHCnk— Larry Noble (@LarryNoble_DC) February 9, 2017
“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,” the statute reads.
The letter also questions Conway’s decision to give a “free commercial,” while she was “appearing in her official capacity” at the White House.
“As Ms. Conway made these statements, she appeared on screen in a tight frame between the official seal of the White House and the American flag,” the letter states.
Shaub concludes the letter by formally requesting the White House send the findings of their investigation on Conway or any disciplinary action to the OGE by the end of the month.
“I recommend that the White House investigate Ms. Conway’s actions and consider taking disciplinary action” by Feb. 28— House OversightDems (@OversightDems) February 14, 2017
As if things couldn’t get any worse, early Tuesday morning, Conway’s Twitter account retweeted a post from a self-proclaimed white nationalist account named “Lib Hypocrisy.”
@KellyannePolls Your strength & resiliency in face of vile hatred, bigotry, & sexism of the unhinged Left is a daily inspiration! Love you!🏅— Lib Hypocrisy 🐸 (@TrumpTrainNoBrk) February 14, 2017
The message from Lib Hypocrisy complemented Conway’s “strength and resiliency in the face of hatred, bigotry, & sexism of the unhinged Left,” and called her an inspiration.
Conway denied retweeting the message, telling Buzzfeed, “I denounce whoever it is.”
However, Conway did not only retweet the message, she also responded with a message to the account, saying, “Love you back,” and wished a happy Valentine’s Day to “the Hapless Haters.”
“I don’t know who had access to my account," Conway told Buzzfeed before she deleted the tweet, saying, “Everybody makes mistakes.”