Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House oversight committee, has shown little interest in probing ethical questions relating to Donald Trump and his administration. But now, the Utah Republican, who converted to Mormonism from Judaism, may have reached the end of the line in his willingness to stand up for Trump and his staff.
Reacting to Trump’s adviser Kellyanne Conway’s on-air plug promoting Ivanka Trump’s merchandise, Chaffetz said the free commercial was unacceptable. “That was wrong, wrong, wrong. It is wholly unacceptable no if, ands or buts about it,” Chaffetz said.
Conway’s promotion was in response to a decision by Nordstrom to drop Trump’s daughter’s line of apparel due to what the chain described as poor sales performance.
The decision to speak out against a senior member of the Trump team may show Chaffetz’s sensitivity to anti-Trump sentiment. The Conway interview led to a massive online uproar, causing the government ethics office’s website to crash.
Federal regulations prevent government employees from using their public office to endorse or promote products.
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House Ethics Chair Slams Conway’s Ivanka Plug
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.