Feb 8, 2017
Trump attacks Nordstrom for dropping daughter's fashion line
Feb 8, 2017
President Donald Trump on Wednesday lashed out at department store chain Nordstrom over its recent decision not to buy in his daughter's clothing line for the upcoming season, raising concerns about the use of his White House platform for his family's businesses.
"My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by Nordstrom," Trump said in a tweet shortly before 1600 GMT.
"She is a great person -- always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!" The tweet was posted 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.
In response to the Twitter comment Trump posted criticizing Nordstrom, which has said its move was based on the sales performance of the Ivanka Trump products, White House spokesman Sean Spicer characterized the company's action as a "direct attack" on the president's policies.
During a White House briefing, Spicer painted Nordstrom's action as an attack on the president's daughter.
"For someone to take out their concern with his policies on a family member of his is just not acceptable. And the president has every right as a father to stand up to them," Spicer said.
Nordstrom did not respond to requests seeking comment. A spokeswoman for the Ivanka Trump brand declined to comment.
The Republican president's complaint, however, drew swift criticism from Democrats. Asked about the Nordstrom tweet, U.S. House of Representatives’ minority leader Nancy Pelosi said:
“I think it’s inappropriate, but he’s a totally inappropriate president, so it’s totally in keeping with who he is. What I think is more inappropriate, though, is for him to refer to a judge who made a ruling that he didn’t agree with as a ‘so-called judge.’ Now we’re talking about the separation of power, not the thin skin of an incompetent president,” Pelosi told reporters in Baltimore for House Democrats’ retreat.
Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat, in a tweet indicated that the matter should be referred to the Office of Government Ethics.
Nordstrom, which has about 350 stores in the United States and Canada, said last week it was dropping Ivanka Trump's line -- which includes high-end women's clothing, accessories and shoes -- due to poor sales. Nordstrom said in a statement last week that its decision was based purely on commercial merit and came as part of its regular review of the 2,000 brands it sells. "In this case, based on the brand's performance we've decided not to buy it for this season," a spokesperson for the brand said last week.
Representatives of the upscale retailer did not immediately responded to a request for comment from AFP about the twitter attack.
Since his surprise victory in November's elections, Trump has used his Twitter feed to lambast companies for off-shoring US jobs or overcharging the federal government for aircraft.
But the latest tweet was different in that it sought to defend part of Trump's family business empire, which critics have said could be a source of profound conflicts of interest for the White House.
Nordstrom was one of several retailers that faced boycott calls for selling Trump family products or supporting the campaign.
Anti-Trump activists created "Grab Your Wallet" after the election to enlist consumers in boycotts to protest Trump's agenda, which also has been met by waves of demonstrations inside and outside the United States.
The president has declined to sell off his businesses despite calls to do so from critics, instead turning his empire over to his adult sons. Trump's web of international companies remains a bit opaque since he has refused to release his tax returns, which experts have said would provide a clearer view of his business interests.
Since winning the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8, Trump has targeted specific companies on Twitter. But this is his first tweet criticizing a business tied to his family since the victory.
Ivanka Trump ran a clothing and jewelry business bearing her name, in addition to other work for the Trump Organization, before saying she would resign when her father was sworn in as president last month.
ProPublica reported on Feb. 2 that the Trump Organization said Ivanka had resigned her positions but that it had not yet filed the changes. The Trump organization later said the filings would be done by Feb. 3, according to the report.
Shares of Nordstrom fell 0.7 percent after the president's criticism but recovered to trade up 3.7 percent at $44.38 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Besides Nordstrom, a number of other retailers have pulled Ivanka Trump inventory from their shelves and online, including Neiman Marcus, HSN, Belk, Jet, and ShopStyle. However, it is not clear if these decisions were politically motivated or due to the line's sales performance.
With reporting from Reuters
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