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Kellyanne Conway May Have Just Broken the Law By Hawking Ivanka Trump Products


Kellyanne Conway appeared on “Fox and Friends” Thursday morning, and addressed recent issues surrounding Ivanka Trump‘s clothing line. The brand has recently been pulled from stores such as Nordstrom and T.J. Maxx, and some shoppers are now boycotting it.

Conway defended andTrump, but may have gotten herself into some trouble at the end of the segment. “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff,” Conway said. “I’m gonna give it a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”

While this plug may just seem tacky and shameless, it might also be illegal. As Larry Noble from the Campaign Legal Center was quick to point out, there is federal law that prohibits government employees from using their position to endorse a product.

Chris Lu, a former Department of Labor official in the Obama administration, tweeted about it too.

The law, 5 CFR 2635.702, says:

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.

Conway, who previously ran Trump’s campaign, is now Counselor to the President. It sure seems like going on national television and saying “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff,” and calling it a “free commercial,” would qualify as an endorsement.

Norm Eisen, former Obama White House ethics czar, told MSNBC, “I believe that it’s a violation of the rules and she’s gonna need to be disciplined for it.” But don’t count on her facing serious consequences any time soon. As far as who would discipline Conway, Eisen said that since Conway is a White House official, it’s up to the President to do something about it. It seems unlikely that President Trump will penalize one of his trusted advisors for promoting his daughter’s products.

Note: This article has been updated to include additional comments from experts.

[Image via Fox News screengrab]

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