Kellyanne Conway, counselor to Trump, purveyor of alternate facts, mourner of the victims of the Bowling Green Massacre, and source of the eternal twitch in our eye, endorsed Ivanka Trump’s brand in an interview with Fox & Friends. This comes after many retailers have dropped Ivanka’s brand so fast we can hardly keep up, the most recent and notable being Nordstrom. Per Business Insider, Nordstrom insisted that the move wasn’t political: “Each year we cut about 10 percent [of brands carried] and refresh our assortment with about the same amount. In this case, based on the brand’s performance we’ve decided not to buy it for this season.” Right. Perhaps “the brand’s performance” is corporate code for “the #GrabYourWallet movement has been so powerful and successful that we’ve decided to risk the wrath of the man-baby president to show we don’t support hate speech and bigotry … also, the shitty products just aren’t selling, so … ”
In any case, Nordstrom now joins the likes of Neiman Marcus, Belk and ShopStyle. Trump and his administration immediately jumped on the opportunity to once again get indignant about being treated “so unfairly” and distract the public from anything that actually matters. And seriously, there are so many things that are more concerning right now than the fact that no one wants to buy Ivanka’s overpriced lace sheath dresses. Trump tweeted out (in the middle of an intelligence briefing no less, which confirms what we already knew about his priorities) the following message:
Conway quickly picked up this hottest new public distraction, and talked at length on Fox & Friends about how fabulous and wonderful the Ivanka Trump line is. “It’s a wonderful line, I own some of it,” said Conway. “I’m going to give a free commercial here, go buy it today everybody, you can find it online.” A government official endorsing a product is, of course, completely illegal. The folks over at Fashionista found that it’s stated pretty clearly in the Federal Law of the Office of Government Ethics, which reads:
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, INCLUDING NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS OF WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS AN OFFICER OR MEMBER, AND PERSONS WITH WHOM THE EMPLOYEE HAS OR SEEKS EMPLOYMENT OR BUSINESS RELATIONS
Theoretically, in a world where logic and reason still existed, Conway would face disciplinary action. According to the law, Conway would face some combination of “restitution, change of assignment, disqualification, divestiture, termination of an activity, waiver, the creation of a qualified diversified or blind trust or counseling.” Of course, the person doing the disciplining would be Trump, and since he’s definitely violated the exact same rule, the odds of any actual repercussions happening are zero. According to Sean Spicer, Conway has been “counseled on that subject, and that’s it.” So, the counselor has been counseled, which we assume in Trumpland means a pat on the back and a drink for once again turning the conversation away from the actual horrors of this administration. “Counseled on that subject” means bullshit. But as Paste’s own Shane Ryan points out, it was always bullshit. Watch the video of Conway’s illegal endorsement below, and then enjoy the fact that Nordstrom’s stocks have surged since they dropped Ivanka’s brand.