WASHINGTON - Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to President Donald Trump, committed a "clear violation" of ethics rules when she advertised Ivanka Trump's clothing line during an interview last week, the government agency tasked with watching for conflicts of interest wrote in a letter on Monday.
"I recommend that the White House investigate Ms. Conway's actions and consider taking disciplinary action against her," Office of Government Ethics director Walter Shaub wrote in a letter posted online Tuesday by Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Conway plugged Ivanka Trump's "wonderful line" of clothing and accessories last week during an appearance on Fox News after Nordstrom announced that it was dropping her brand.
"Go buy Ivanka's stuff is what I would tell you," Conway said. "I hate shopping, I'm going to go get some myself today. … I'm going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online."
Shaub recounted the interview in his letter, addressed to deputy counsel to Trump Stefan Passantino.
"As Ms. Conway made these statements, she appeared on screen in a tight frame between the official seal of the White House and the American flag," Shaub wrote. "She was unquestionably appearing in her official capacity."
Conway is accused of misusing her official position for personal gain.
Shaub said the example used to illustrate such a violation in the Office of Government Ethics' regulation on the subject involves a hypothetical presidential appointee appearing in a commercial to promote a product.
"Ms. Conway's actions track that example almost exactly," Shaub wrote.
He asked that the Office of Government Ethics be notified of any action taken to discipline Conway in connection with the Fox News interview by Feb. 28.
Press secretary Sean Spicer last week said Conway had been "counseled" for her actions, although he did not elaborate.