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Ethics office urges White House probe of Trump aide Conway
[WASHINGTON] The head of the US Office of Government Ethics has urged the White House to investigate a key aide to Donald Trump for plugging the fashion brand of the president's daughter, saying she should likely face disciplinary action.
Trump counsellor Kellyanne Conway gave Ivanka Trump's clothing a rave review during an interview with the Fox network last Thursday, with the White House seal clearly visible over her left shoulder.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said afterwards that Ms Conway had been "counseled" over the potential ethics breach, without providing more detail.
But on Monday, OGE director Walter Shaub wrote a letter to the White House stating that: "Under the present circumstances, there is strong reason to believe that Ms Conway has violated the Standards of Conduct and that disciplinary action is warranted." "I recommend that the White House investigate Ms Conway's actions and consider taking disciplinary action against her," he said.
Ms Conway urged shoppers to "go buy Ivanka's stuff" after retailer Nordstrom announced it would stop selling Ivanka Trump's clothing, a decision it said was based purely on commercial merit.
The president had previously hit out at the high-end retailer, posting on Twitter: "My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by Nordstrom. She is a great person - always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!"
Democrat Elijah Cummings and Republican Jason Chaffetz - both lawmakers on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which Mr Chaffetz chairs - have led calls for Ms Conway to face rebuke.
"Conway's statements clearly violate the ethical principles for federal employees and are unacceptable," the congressmen said in a letter to Mr Shaub, requesting that he recommend "appropriate disciplinary action" against her.