Speed Reads

Trump v Business

Republicans describe Trump thrashing Nordstrom as simply the act of a 'doting father'

Last week, Nordstrom said it will stop selling Ivanka Trump's line of clothing and accessories, citing poor sales, and on Wednesday morning, President Trump hit back, tweeting: "My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!" He retweeted that from the official @POTUS account, too. Many people thought it unseemly for the president of the United States to attack a U.S. company for its business judgment, but at Wednesday's White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer assured America this is personal, not business.

"I think this is less about his family's business and an attack on his daughter," Spicer said. "He has every right to stand up for his family and applaud their business activities, their success." When a reporter reminded him that Ivanka, 35, has supposedly removed herself from running the company, Spicer pointed out that "it's still her name on it," and "there are clearly efforts to undermine that name based on her father's positions on particular policies." The Nordstrom decision "is a direct attack on his policies and her name," he added.

It is Spicer's job to defend the president, but House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) is supposed to keep the White House honest. He didn't have a problem with Trump's tweet, either. "I think most people can relate to the fact that a father, a doting father with very successful children, is going to look after those children and, you know, if he sees something going wrong, he's going to call it out," Chaffetz told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "He's not just the father," Blitzer noted. "He's also the president of the United States." Chaffetz was unmoved: "I think the president has the right to weigh in on his opinion on things, and especially as it relates to his children."

Two of Trump's children, of course, purportedly run his business, and Ivanka's husband, Jared Kushner, is a top Trump adviser. CNN's Jake Tapper noted some of the ethical concerns:

If the concern is that Trump's tweets have the power to tank a company's stock price, Nordstrom took the tweet in stride.

And that's not great news for Ivanka Trump's clothing brand.