WASHINGTON (CNN) – Kellyanne Conway, top adviser to President Donald Trump, apologized to him Thursday after her comments about Ivanka Trump’s clothing line during a TV interview, a senior administration official told CNN.
The President expressed to her in that meeting that he backed her up “completely,” the official said. The official also said that the President “hated” the word “counseled” — as was used by press secretary Sean Spicer in the White House briefing Thursday in reference to the White House response to Conway’s comments.
Conway tweeted Friday that she had the President’s support.
“POTUS supports me, and millions of Americans support him & his agenda,” Conway tweeted, with a link to an Associated Press news story about the President’s backing in the wake of the criticism for her comments.
POTUS supports me, and millions of Americans support him & his agenda. https://t.co/FTaPXTymGV
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) February 10, 2017
Conway, in a Fox News interview, urged viewers Thursday to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff” after Nordstrom and other stores said recently that they were changing their relationship with the first daughter’s clothing line because of poor sales.
“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff, is what I would tell you,” Conway said. “It’s a wonderful line. I own some of it. I fully — I’m going to just, I’m going to give a free commercial here: Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
The comments could run afoul of a federal law that bars public employees from making an “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 Republicans and Democrats criticized the White House for Conway’s comment. Representative Elijah Cummings, a Democrat, and Jason Chaffetz, Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, co-authored a letter to the Office of Government Ethics Thursday, asking the government agency to investigate Conway’s comments.
Because Trump is the ultimate authority on reprimanding Conway, the letter said, “we request that you use authority Congress granted to you…to ‘recommend to [Trump] the appropriate disciplinary action be brought against” Conway.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Thursday that Conway was “counseled” on the comment, but declined to elaborate on what that meant.
“That’s it,” Spicer said.
An official told CNN after the comment that The White House counsel’s office talked to Conway on Thursday morning, not long after her appearance. The counsel’s office informed her that what she said was at odds with ethical guidelines.