Trump’s attack on Nordstrom blurs the line between the Oval Office and the family business

“With his Twitter blast at Nordstrom, President Donald Trump sparked fresh concerns that he and his family are using the Oval Office for personal gain,” CNBC is reporting.

“Trump accused the department store on Wednesday of treating his daughter Ivanka ‘unfairly’ prompting its stock to drop briefly before it recovered. The president’s tweet came days after the department store chain said it would not sell his daughter’s brand in the upcoming season due to sagging performance.

“Trump’s tweet pulled him back into a debate over whether he did enough to distance himself from his family’s businesses when he took office. The president chose not to divest from the Trump Organization, handing control to his two eldest sons and a company executive.

“While the Trump Organization said Ivanka Trump stepped down from her roles there, she licenses her name to merchandise manufacturers, who then sell products at stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s, according to The New York Times. It’s not clear if she still receives royalties from her clothing licensing.

“Trump’s criticism of a company that distanced itself from his daughter’s brand shows ‘un-presidential behavior and potentially much worse,’ said Richard Painter, a former top White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush.

“‘It is the use of public office for private gain,’ he said.

“Later Wednesday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer called Nordstrom’s move an ‘attack’ on Ivanka Trump based on her father’s policies and argued that he should have the ability to defend her. Asked whether Nordstrom’s decision matters since Ivanka Trump said she stepped down from her companies, Spicer said it still damages a brand that carries her name.

“‘I think this was less about the family business than an attack on his daughter,’ the White House press secretary said.

“Ivanka Trump’s brand makes the largest share of its sales from licensed clothing like the products sold at department stores, according to the Times. Her father also increasingly turned to brand licensing in his ventures before he took office.”

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

9 thoughts on “Trump’s attack on Nordstrom blurs the line between the Oval Office and the family business”

    1. Yes, this is becoming one big Saturday Night Live skit. But it is real. BTW, I can’t watch a Sean Spicer without thinking of the SNL version.

      1. Watching his press briefing today, I was expecting him to pick up the podium and march into the audience at any time. LOL!

  1. Nordstrom is seeing lower profits, so needs to cut out the ‘loser’ clothing lines. I think Ivanka will be ok and will not be eating cat food out of a can any time soon.

  2. Looks like some folks in Turkey are not sure about shopping the the Trump Towers mall in Istanbul. Will the owners who are paying for the Trump name brand start removing Trump’s name from their buildings?

    1. After Trump called for “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” in December of 2015. Erdogan (who I can’t believe hasn’t caused Turkey’s membership in NATO to be suspended with how he has turned that country into an authoritarian dictatorship) was calling for those towers to be torn down, which was mostly nonsense and Erdogan was playing to his own AKP Islamic base.

  3. Retail is a cut and dry business. If the product doesn’t sell, there is no reorder. It seems that drumpf should have more on his plate than to try to condemn and force a retailer to order his daughter’s goods. They are a family of grifters.
    Kathleen

  4. Nothing personal. It’s only business. Isn’t that tRump’s mantra? If he wants Nordstrom to carry her brand what is he going to do to encourage people to purchase it? Advertising is a good tool and perhaps he would be willing to pay for that advertising. After all it’s only business.

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