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Trump aide says endorsement of Ivanka's brand was 'light-hearted'

Reuters

A top aide to President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his colleague, Kellyanne Conway, after she was widely criticized for her public endorsement of the fashion line of Trump's daughter, Ivanka.

Speaking on the ABC's "This Week" program, White House aide Stephen Miller said Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway was making a "light-hearted, flippant" comment when she urged Americans to buy Ivanka Trump's products.

"I think that everybody has taken this to a degree and to a level it does not merit," Miller continued to "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos. "AndI really hope, George, we can move on to discussing things that the American people care about, like their jobs, like their wages, like their security, like the fact that we have a president who has done more in three weeks than most presidents have done in an entire administration."

"Go buy Ivanka’s stuff is what I would say," Conway said Thursday on Fox News from the White House briefing room. "I’m going to give a free commercial here: Go buy it today, everybody; you can find it online."

Conway's comments prompted criticism from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, as well as some legal experts who said she may have violated ethics rules that prohibit using a public office to endorse products or advance personal business gains.

In comments to the Associated Press, Republican Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight committee, said Conway's statement was "clearly over the line, unacceptable."

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer later addressed the press, saying Conway "had been counseled on that subject," but would not elaborate on what that counseling entailed.


Nordstrom's sales of Ivanka Trump's line of clothing and shoes fell by nearly one-third in the past fiscal year, with sharp drops in sales in the weeks before her father Donald Trump was elected president, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

Nordstrom announced this week it had decided to stop carrying Ivanka Trump's apparel, prompting President Trump to take to Twitter to defend her. "My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom," he said on Wednesday.


Additional reporting by Alexis Sachdev.

 

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