CREW filed a complaint on February 9 regarding Kellyanne Conway’s public endorsement of Ivanka Trump’s brand after receiving no signal that the White House will take any significant action to address the serious violation. After the White House received several complaints, including CREW’s, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced that Mrs. Conway had been “counseled” on the matter. CREW’s letter emphasizes that “counseling” is simply not enough to counteract the breach, and that an ethics concept as basic as the prohibition on using public office to benefit private interest should have been clearly set out in ethics training when employees started their jobs, which in this case would have been only a few weeks before. The letter underscores that it is important that an agency outside of the White House intervene and take decisive action in order to establish that an ethics-free and conflict-ridden White House will not be tolerated.

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