Posted by Curt on 16 January, 2017 at 7:18 pm. Be the first to comment!


Jim Geraghty:

In a move that is being interpreted as a rebuke of a Trump tweet about L. L. Bean, Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub issued a “Refresher on Misuse of Position”:

the rule against misuse of position prohibits employees from:

Using public office for their own private gain for the private gain of friends, relatives, or persons with whom they are affiliated in a non-government capacity;

Endorsing any product, service, or company;

The previous day’s Tweet from Trump included the sentence, “Buy L.L. Bean!”

Trump’s “Buy L.L. Bean” — which incidentally linked to the wrong Twitter account — reflects a pretty obvious dynamic between Trump and his critics. If you tout or endorse Trump, as Linda L. Bean did, and get criticized or attacked for it, the president-elect will come out swinging and praise you and your company to the high heavens. You have to be particularly credulous to think of this as a personal endorsement of the company’s products; raise your hand if you think Trump has ever used some of L. L. Bean’s camping gear.

Is it an ethically problematic area when a president or president-elect starts touting a particular company? Sure. But how different is “Buy L. L. Bean” from Obama heading to the factory of a soon-to-be-defunct solar-panel manufacturer and declaring, “It’s here that companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.” That’s not an endorsement?

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