Did Trump’s Tweets Violate Ethics Law?

In November 2016, billionaire businessman Donald Trump won the electoral college and became the 45th President of the United States. Before he set his sights on a political run, he was known for having quite the caustic mouth on twitter. He has encountered many feuds, including those about products, businesses, and people whom he feels treats himself or his family “unfairly.” For instance, his longtime-documented feud with Rosie O’Donnell. Many seem to have thought that after he was in office his tweeting would cease, however, he has made it clear that this is not the case.


There have already been numerous instances where he seems to have put his foot in his mouth involving everything from what he calls “fake news” media to fighting with leaders of other countries. Some people might see this as a refreshing break from the typical diplomacy and decorum shown by past presidents, while others fear that he will get us all killed by starting a nuclear war.

In the past week, Donald came under fire after he tweeted directly at a company whom he felt was treating his daughter unfairly. He lambasted the department store Nordstrom’s for apparently pulling the clothing and accessory line of his daughter Ivanka Trump. Not only did Donald tweet this on his personal account but he also used the official POTUS twitter account to retweet the message. He then had his mouthpiece Kellyanne Conway go on FOX News and plug Ivanka’s clothing. Kellyanne stated on the program, “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff is what I would tell you. I hate shopping, but I’m gonna go get some myself today. Ivanka has tried to distance herself from her brand since the election. It’s a wonderful line, I own some of it… I’m just going to give a free commercial here: Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”

According to comments made by Representative Jason Chaffetz, who also happens to be the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, he said that President Trump is exempt to any implications due to his behavior and supposed ethical violations. However, apparently, counselor Kellyanne Conway is not. Because she was speaking in her official capacity on the news program she violated several federal statutes. Specifically, Conway’s “commercial” violated the Ethics Government Act of 1978 which said “An employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain, for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the private gain of friends, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity.”

Both Donald Trump and Kellyanne Conway’s comments are the most perfect example you could possibly come up with to showcase such a violation. Chaffetz told MSNBC, “That was wrong, wrong, wrong.” He also said the Conway instance was “clearly over the line and unacceptable.” He and Representative Elijah E. Cummings sent a joint letter to the United States Office of Government Ethics to investigate and recommend discipline.


Clearly, this administration is like nothing we have ever seen before. Outrageous tweets, a Russian hacking aimed at putting Trump in office, the POTUS feuding over social media with Saturday Night Live and Arnold Schwarzenegger among others, nationwide and international protests in record-breaking numbers against Trump and his policies, and we are only the third week into this new administration. What the future holds is anyone’s guess, but let’s hope it’s not one where government officials are able to readily push whatever corporation or business interest that benefits them.