Could Nordstrom Sue Trump for His Angry Ivanka Tweet?

A top ethics lawyer says the company should.

John Locher/AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


On Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump fired off a tweet attacking Nordstrom, saying that the department store has treated his eldest daughter, Ivanka, “so unfairly.” The tweet came just days after Nordstrom announced it would no longer sell Ivanka Trump’s clothing and accessories line; the company said the brand had performance problems, but the move came in the wake of a social-media campaign calling for a boycott of businesses selling Trump-branded wares. Shortly after Trump sent out the tweet from his personal account, it was retweeted by the official account for the president of the United States.

Trump’s attack on Nordstrom is just the latest example highlighting the many conflicts of interest that tie together his business interests and the presidency. Trump has singled out companies before (he tweeted about the cost of Air Force One, manufactured by Boeing, which then saw its stock fall), but this time he set his sights on a business directly affecting his daughter’s own. “Knowing that he’s doing it just for his family’s business interest is disturbing,” says Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “The real question to ask,” he adds, “is how does it benefit Kushner?” While Ivanka Trump does not have an official role in the White House, her husband, Jared Kushner, is a top adviser to the president.

Norm Eisen, who is the chair of CREW’s board and a former White House ethics lawyer, stated that Trump’s tweet is grounds for a lawsuit.

Ethics lawyers have repeatedly called Trump’s attempt at separating himself from his businesses before taking office insufficient. In January, CREW filed a lawsuit against Trump for violating the Constitution on the grounds that he is receiving payments from foreign governments.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest