Ivanka And Melania Are Shamelessly Trying To Profit From Trump’s Presidency
American Presidency, Inc., A Trump Company
Profiting off the presidency is nothing new, but the entire Trump team has been especially brazen this week in their mixing of business and politics. Ivanka, Melania, Kellyanne, and Donald himself all made the news this week for various aspects of the families corporate marketing efforts. Self-promotion is a part of government and all politicians sell some sort of brand. As the dust begins to settle from the transition, we are finally able to see where the First Family’s priorities lie and how they will politically engage with the public.
Ivanka has been relatively quiet in the media since she was criticized for meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister. At the time of the meeting Ivanka was working to finalize a deal on her clothing line with a company whose largest shareholder is owned by the Japanese government. It was this same clothing line that landed her in the news again this week. Ivanka has maintained ownership of her company just as her father has. On February 2nd Nordstrom dropped Ivanka Trump’s brand for this fall season. What the company presented as a decision “entirely based on brand performance” was quickly politicized and drew the attention of the White House. Nordstrom circulated a memo earlier in the month expressing solidarity and offering help and support to any employees affected by the immigration order, which almost every large transnational did, and this is apparently evidence that the company is against the President.
My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!
Above is the tweet the White House decided to send not just from President Trump’s personal account, but also retweet from official @POTUS account as well. Not content to stop there, the White House had it’s press secretary Sean Spicer defend these actions saying “For people to take out their concerns about his actions, or his executive orders, on members of his family, he has every right to stand up for his family.” Ms. Trump has made no public statement concerning her fathers intercession on her behalf from the White House. Where is Ms. Trump’s defense of her own brand? If she is pushing the President to do the right thing, where is her public voice? From the looks of this interaction, the President not only makes business decisions for his own company, but his family’s as well.
Not content with tweets and the press briefing, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway went onto Fox and Friends Thursday morning:
“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff, is what I would tell you, it’s a wonderful line. I own some of it, I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody.”
Ms. Conway violated federal ethics policy, but there is no evidence it was at the direction of the White House from whom she did receive a “counseling.” Ms. Conway appears to have little to no ethical framework or understanding of which lines not to cross. Ms. Conway has had her judgement so distorted in position as counselor, twisted by the money making priorities of her boss, that she literally committed a crime on television today in support of this goal. “At some point, I hope American women work for a boss that treats them the way President Trump treated me today," Conway said, concerning her actions and the Presidents response. I think American women have higher management standards. To use your office of Counselor to the President to spend time speaking publicly promoting the First Families corporate brand is a gross waste of the taxpayers money and time. We expect more substance from our government.
Continuing the focus of the First Family on their brand, Ms. Trump is currently suing The Daily Mail for damage to her image. The outlet once ran a story implying that she was an escort in her youth, a sensationalized claim that probably deserves a lawsuit. However, are the claims Ms. Trump’s lawyers used about damages.
“Plaintiff had the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as an extremely famous and well-known person, as well as a former professional model and brand spokesperson, and successful businesswoman, to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which Plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world,” read the filing. “These product categories would have included, among other things, apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care and fragrance.”
What Ms. Trump appears to be claiming, is that the insinuation of being an escort is prevent her from making money off of being the First Lady. Vanity Fair called Ms. Trump’s legal strategy “the trumpiest it gets” and “a simulacrum of her husband’s previous litigation.” Since Ms. Trump’s brand has suffered for possible loss of revenue, her lawyers are claiming $150 million in damages. Ms. Trump has not fulfilled a single obligation of her office, her only act as First Lady appears to be filing several lawsuits for her personal financial gain. In this stance she mirrors Ivanka and Kellyanne in their shameless self-promotion and brazen pursuit of wealth.
Ivanka, Melania, and Kellyanne’s positions come with a time honored responsibility to serve as voices for, and pursue solutions to, substantial issues that face American society. The expectation of their positions come with high ethical standards and empathy. Bit by bit we see that all the facets of the White House and the First Family reinforce the view that they place money and their personal brands above governance and the obligations they owe to the American people.