The White House Counsel's Office has concluded that senior adviser Kellyanne Conway acted “inadvertently” when she endorsed Ivanka Trump's clothing line, rebuffing a recommendation by the top federal ethics official that she be disciplined for an apparent violation of federal rules.
Stefan C. Passantino, who handles White House ethics issues as deputy counsel to President Trump, wrote in a letter Tuesday that his office concluded Conway was speaking in a “light, offhand manner” when she touted the Ivanka Trumpline during a Feb. 9 appearance on “Fox & Friends.” At the time, Conway was addressing efforts by activists to persuade retailers such as Nordstrom to drop Ivanka Trump-branded items.
“We concluded that Ms. Conway acted inadvertently and is highly unlikely to do so again,” Passantino wrote to Walter M. Schaub, Jr., director of the Office of Government Ethics, adding that Conway made the comments “without nefarious motive or intent to benefit personally.”
Passantino said he met with Conway and advised her that her remarks “implicated the prohibition on using one's official position to endorse any product or service.”
“Ms. Conway has acknowledged her understanding of the Standards and has reiterated her commitment to abiding by them in the future,” he added. The White House letter was first reported by CNN.
It remains to be seen whether OGE will pursue its recommendation that Conway be disciplined, a move Shaub urged the White House to take in a Feb. 13 letter. “There is strong reason to believe that Ms. Conway has violated the Standards of Conduct and that disciplinary action is warranted,” he wrote at the time.Read More...
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