It seems as if every day, the news coming out of Washington, D.C. and more specifically out of the White House just gets stranger and stranger. The latest in a series of bizarre turns of events is the issue that President Donald J. Trump has taken with companies that decide to sever business ties with this daughter’s jewelry, clothing, and accessories lines.
Specifically, Nordstrom, one of the countries leading high-end retailers recently decided that they would no longer carry President Trump’s adult daughter Ivanka Trump’s line of products in their stores. The decision, according to representatives at Nordstrom, stems from lackluster sales making carrying the line a poor business decision going forward. They simply decided that the company would not carry the products in the upcoming season which is common of retailers with product lines that are not performing as desired. And in Nordstrom’s defense, numerous other retailers have been following suit for the same reasons.
While this is a common business practice, particularly when it comes to high-end fashion, the President seemed to take great offense to the move and called Nordstrom out on Twitter in a strange and unprecedented tweet from a President of the United States. His exact tweet stated “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person – always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!”
There are many reasons why this is bizarre and in many ways highly inappropriate. For starters, Ivanka Trump is an adult woman running her own business. She likely is fully capable of handling he Nordstrom issue herself. On the other side of this is the fact that the tweet implied that the decision made by Nordstrom was not about the low sales of the Ivanka Trump line of products but an attack on the woman herself and her character.
Never before has a sitting President of the United States used social media to attack a private entity and American business. This is an unprecedented move to say the least and calls to attention an issue that many have been concerned about for quite some time, the issue of President Trump’s conflicts of interest in terms of his business ties. After all, this is an example of the President using his public platform as the leader of the federal government and using it to interfere with his daughter’s business relationship and retail opportunities in blatant disregard for the laws prohibiting such interference and influence.
However, the absurdities do not stop at the simple tweet (which was also shared on the @POTUS account on Twitter which is the official account for the sitting President of the United States). The White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer also commented on the issue when asked about it at a White House press briefing. To hear Spicer tell it, the Nordstrom decision to terminate business ties with Ivanka Trump’s fashion lines had to do only with the idea that the company disagreed with the President’s politics, specifically in terms of his executive orders and policy actions. Spicer even went so far as to say that Trump’s daughter was being attacked because her father is the President.
These statements and defenses of the President’s actions are troubling in many ways. Never once has Nordstrom or any other company removing Ivanka Trump’s lines from stores made any comment to that fact. All of the companies have clearly indicated that sales were the reason behind the decisions. The President and his White House staff are defending the idea that the leader of the nation can and should interfere with business decisions made by private companies and that any decision that goes against what the President deems to be good for his family’s profits is unacceptable.
To say this Twitter attack and precedent are dangerous is a massive understatement. And as it stands, there will no doubt be more examples of this type of blatant disregard for the rules of government and decorum to come.