Kellyane Conway, an aide and spokesperson for US President Donald Trump, just broke a Federal regulation on national TV. It may not seem obvious for those unfamiliar with the rules. But Conway had been speaking with Fox and Friends from the White House briefing room when she briefly encouraged viewers to try the products of Ivanaka Trump’s line.
Big mistake: It’s considered unethical for government officials to use their position to endorse private products or companies. Doing so for the benefit on one’s self, or relatives or friends, is a breach of regulations, according to the Office of Government Ethics.
A Free Commercial
Conway had been talking about Donald’s daughter as a champion for women empowerment and women in the workplace. “I think people could see through that,” she said, mentioning how come critics would “use her to get to (Donald Trump).”
She then tacked on her statement with an endorsement of Ivanka’s products: “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff, is what I would tell you. I hate shopping. I’m going to go get some myself today… This is just a wonderful line. I own some of it… I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
"Go buy Ivanka's stuff!" Kellyanne Conway tells "Fox & Friends" viewers from the White House briefing room. pic.twitter.com/noIhnVgcAk
— Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) February 9, 2017
According to the Office of Government Ethics. Kellyanne Conway’s ‘free commercial’ was a political faux pas. As it’s stated in the Code of Federal Regulations: “An employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain, for the endorsement of any product, service, or enterprise.”
Somehow, the businessman’s mentality of Trump and his family found its way into Kellyanne Conway’s head that morning. She was soon on the receiving end of various criticisms:
Don W. Fox, former director of the OGE, called the move “jaw-dropping”, and a “clear violation of rules.” Rep. Elijah Cummings stated how it was a violation of of regulations enacted to “prevent the abuse of an employee’s government position.”
Counselled, But No Penalty
Since then, it’s been reported that Conway had only been “counselled” as a consequence of her actions. This led people to wonder why no federal punishment had been doled out.
Bloomberg did clarify that Kellyanne Conway’s endorsement had been in violation of a rule set down by the OGE, but it was not a violation of the rule of law. As such, nothing specifies a punishment for Conway if the President chooses not to hand one. That Conway was “counselled” suggests that she was simply verbally warned against endorsing the Trumps’ products in the future.
When asked about the extent of that counselling, Conway simply said, “I’m not going to comment on that.” Thoughts on Kellyanne Conway’s remarks? Sound off below and let us hear it!