Donald Trump’s tweets attacking retailer Nordstrom for dropping his daughter’s clothing line is an inappropriate “abuse of power,” says a government oversight watchdog group, which adds that the White House should not be used as a vehicle to advance the president’s personal or family interests.
CLEVELAND, OHIO, UNITED STATES (JULY 21, 2016) (RESTRICTED POOL) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s Twitter attack on Nordstrom Inc on Wednesday (February 8) for dropping his daughter Ivanka’s clothing line raised concerns about the use of his White House platform for his family’s businesses.
“My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!,” Trump said on Wednesday in his post on both his personal and official presidential Twitter accounts.
Trump’s comments underscore the complicated relationship that the wealthy New York real estate developer who became president on Jan. 20 has with his sprawling family business interests amid criticism from Democrats and others about the ethics and legality of the arrangement.
“It’s not necessarily an illegal abuse of power but I certainly think it’s an inappropriate abuse of power,” Scott Amey, General Counsel of the Washington Watchdog Project on Government Oversight, told Reuters.
“In the old days when it was just CEO Trump, he might have tweeted these things and that was appropriate. But when you’re the president of the United States, all of a sudden it looks like you’re trading the power of the position of the president of the United States and the White House for trying to bully a company into doing certain things. And that’s not the way public service should operate. We should have a president and we should have government servants that work above reproach, and that aren’t biased in decisions and determinations and policies that they’re making. And this doesn’t fit into that type of instance,” Amey said.
Nordstrom did not respond to requests seeking comment. A spokeswoman for the Ivanka Trump brand declined to comment.