Donald Trump’s Twitter attack on Seattle-based retailer Nordstrom is “an abuse of the office of the presidency,” an ethics advisor who served in the Obama administration has said.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Katy Tur, Norm Eisen remarked that Trump’s Twitter rant berating Nordstrom for dropping his daughter Ivanka’s brand shows why the President and his family “needed to step away, needed to make a more definitive break.” Eisen is a former White House ethics chief who also served as U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic.
“I think it’s an abuse of the office of the presidency. He’s putting the bully in the bully pulpit.”
On Wednesday, the President bashed Nordstrom for severing ties with Ivanka Trump’s brand of luxury clothing, shoes, and jewelry. The luxury department store chain had recently announced that it would no longer carry Ivanka’s label due to lagging sales.
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
Trump first shared the tweet via his personal @RealDonaldTrump account. It was later sent out via the official @POTUS Twitter account, which some have noted may be an ethics violation.
Later in the day, White House press secretary Sean Spicer defended Trump’s Nordstrom Twitter post, saying that the President can rightfully stand up for his family.
“When it comes to his family, he’ll be clear about how proud he is and what they’ve accomplished. For someone to take out their concern with his policies on a family member of his is not acceptable and the President has every right as a father to stand up for them.”
Spicer also said that Nordstrom is “targeting” Ivanka because of her father’s stance on certain issues.
“It’s her name, though she’s not directly running the company, it’s still her name on it.”
On Wednesday, Nordstrom released a statement saying that it had decided to discontinue selling the Ivanka Trump brand from its stores and website because of the label’s poor performance.
“Over the past year, and particularly in the last half of 2016, sales of the brand have steadily declined to the point where it didn’t make good business sense for us to continue with the line for now.”
The company said that Ivanka had been personally informed of the decision in early January.
Last week, a Seattle newspaper published the contents of an internal memo from the retailer’s three presidents — Erik, Blake, and Peter Nordstrom — in which they criticized Trump’s controversial travel ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. In the memo sent out to Nordstrom employees, the brothers pledged to assist those who might be affected by the ban. They also pointed out that the company’s founder, their great grandfather John W. Nordstrom, was an immigrant.
Nordstrom is just one of a handful of major fashion retailers that will no longer be selling Ivanka Trump’s clothing and jewelry lines. The list of retail outlets that have pulled out the brand currently includes Neiman Marcus, Gilt, ShopStyle, Jet, Belk, and Shoes.com.
Since last year, campaigns such as #GrabYourWallet have urged consumers to boycott Nordstrom and other retailers that carry brands with ties to Donald Trump and his family.
Meanwhile, it has come to light that Trump’s Twitter bashing of Nordstrom occurred when he was supposed to be getting his daily intelligence briefing.
White House schedule says his Daily Intelligence Briefing was at 10:30am. This was the tweet he sent at 10:51am. ???? https://t.co/THnW6IQ8G9— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) February 8, 2017
As a Washington Post fact-checker pointed out, the timing of the tweet (10:51 a.m.) was only 21 minutes into the scheduled intelligence briefing indicated in Trump’s daily schedule, copies of which were obtained by journalists.
Of note: The official White House schedule suggests Trump was getting his daily intel briefing while he sent this tweet. https://t.co/Ws6ZCe1OS2— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) February 8, 2017
However, it is unclear if Trump posted the initial tweet himself. The President is said to be using an old Samsung Galaxy phone and his Twitter posts are usually shared from the Twitter for Android app. Trump’s Nordstrom Twitter rant was posted from an iPhone.
Not even sent by Trump himself! pic.twitter.com/h0NyfzHkM3— Ryan Parker (@TheRyanParker) February 8, 2017
[Featured Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]