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Trump aide 'counseled' after brand promotion

Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The White House has "counseled" a top advisor to President Donald Trump after she promoted Ivanka Trump's fashion line during a national cable television appearance from the White House.

But House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz says that's not enough, calling what Kellyanne Conway did "wrong, wrong, wrong, clearly over the line, unacceptable."

The Utah Republican congressman and Democratic Oversight Leader Elijah Cummings jointly asked the Office of Government Ethics to review the matter.

Chaffetz also said he will write a formal letter to the White House lodging his irritation. He said White House press secretary Sean Spicer's remark Thursday that Conway has been "counseled" doesn't go far enough.

"It needs to be dealt with," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. It's the first time during the young administration that Chaffetz has questioned an ethical matter.

Speaking later to Utah lawmakers, Chaffetz added: "Of course I'm going to call that out. My job is not to be a cheerleader for the president."

The White House said later Thursday that Trump "absolutely" continues to support Conway. In response to questions from The Associated Press, the White House said Trump didn't see Conway's interview on Fox News. But a spokeswoman said Trump "understands she was merely sticking up for a wonderful woman who she has great respect for and felt was treated unfairly."

In an interview later Thursday evening on Fox, Conway declined to discuss the case but said she had spoken with Trump and "he supports me 100 percent."

The ethics dustup began Wednesday with the president himself.

Reacting to news that a department store had dropped his daughter's line of clothing and accessories, Trump tweeted -- and retweeted from the official presidential account -- that Ivanka Trump had been treated "so unfairly by @Nordstrom."

Ivanka Trump does not have a specific role in the White House but moved to Washington with her husband, Jared Kushner, who is one of Trump's closest advisers.

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