The White House has announced it will NOT discipline Kellyanne Conway for making what amounted to an infomercial for Ivanka Trump’s clothing last month.
Deputy Counsel to the President, Stefan C. Passantino, sent a letter to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics on February 28, telling the office that the White House rejects their assessment that Conway’s TV appearance on Feb. 9, an improper use of public office to endorse a product, necessitates further action.
Passantino wrote in a letter to the OGE:
“Consistent with this commitment to ethical compliance, the Office of White House Counsel immediately undertook a review of the facts and circumstances surrounding comments made by Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, relating to the business interests of the President’s daughter Ivanka Trump.”
“As part of the subsequent review, I have personally met with Ms. Conway to review the Standards of Conduct that employees of the Executive Office of the President are expected to follow, including the provisions relating to the appropriate use of one’s official position.”
The White House letter concluded that Conway acted “inadvertently and is highly unlikely to do so again.”
Elijah Cummings, the senior Democrat on the Oversight Committee, said in a statement:
“It is a very bad sign that the President chose not to discipline Ms. Conway for blatantly violating the law. Other federal employees would likely be suspended for engaging in this conduct, and White House officials should not be held to a different standard. I hope that the President reconsiders his decision and that he and his staff will take their ethical obligations more seriously.”
It is unclear whether there will be further action sought by the Office of Government Ethics.