WASHINGTON -- The leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday sought an investigation into whether White House counselor Kellyanne Conway's promotion of Ivanka Trump's products ran afoul of federal ethics rules.
In a letter to the Office of Government Ethics, Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings of Maryland said Conway's comments on cable television "clearly violate the ethical principles for federal employees and are unacceptable."
The lawmakers asked the director, Walter M. Shaub Jr., to investigate the comments and recommend whether Conway, a New Jersey native, should be sanctioned for her actions.
Conway cites fake Bowling Green massacre
Conway's comments on "Fox and Friends" were a reaction to the announcement by the Nordstrom department store that it would no longer sell President Donald Trump's daughter's clothing line.
"Go buy Ivanka's stuff," Conway who grew up in the Atford section of Waterford Township, said on the program. "It's a wonderful line. I own some of it. I'm going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online."
Conway was "counseled" after her comments, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said at the daily briefing with reporters.
"Kellyanne has been counseled and that's all we're going to go with," Spicer said. "She's been counseled on that subject, and that's it."
Trump earlier criticized Nordstrom's decision himself.
My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person -- always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
He retweeted that complaint on the official presidential Twitter account.
Chaffetz demanded a private meeting with Shaub last month after the director said that Trump's plans to keep his businesses but have his sons run them "does not comport with the tradition of our Presidents over the past 40 years."
Conway, meanwhile, had been the subject of criticism for claiming that Spicer was using "alternative facts" when he falsely insisted that Trump's inauguration crowd was bigger than President Barack Obama's eight years earlier.
Jonathan D. Salant may be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JDSalant. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook
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