Donald Trump tweeted something ridiculous again, and I find myself annoyed again—among other reasons, because I think about how Barack Obama would have been savaged if he had behaved the way Trump is behaving.
For example, Nordstrom recently cut ties with Ivanka Trump, citing declining sales. This was in the wake of the start of a hashtag movement called #GrabYourWallet, which encourages boycotts of retailers that carry Trump products. According to its website, the campaign seeks to wield women’s economic power “in favor of a more respectful and inclusive society.”
This morning, Donald Trump tweeted that Nordstrom was being super mean to his daughter. Shortly afterward, if this tweet by New York magazine and Daily Beast contributor Yasha Ali is to be believed, Nordstrom’s stock plummeted, if only briefly. Trump’s tweet has also sparked a boycott of Nordstrom because Trump supporters apparently don’t like the fact that the retailer is being super mean to Ivanka Trump. The official @POTUS account also RT’ed Trump’s original post.
If it seems just a tad unethical for Trump to be using the presidency to interfere with a business deal between Nordstrom and his daughter, that’s because it is.
Via Mother Jones:
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.
And at least one lawyer, as Mother Jones pointed out, thinks that Nordstrom might have a case against Trump.
— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) February 8, 2017
I can’t even fathom the amount of outrage that would pour forth from the dankest corners of the internet if President Obama had behaved in this manner. The very same people who are helping Trump abuse his power (by punishing Nordstrom on behalf of the Trumps with an absurd boycott) would have blown a brain gasket if Obama incited a boycott of a business that made a decision he disagreed with, much less a decision about one of his kids’ jobs.
The double standard really chaps my hide.
Here’s another example.
Melania Trump’s representatives issued a statement yesterday that Melania had “no intention of” using her status as First Lady of the United States to push her line of jewelry, accessories, shoes, and whatever else it is she sells on the QVC network.
Except that Melania had literally just filed a multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuit claiming that she was injured by a now-retracted story published in the Daily Mail repeating claims that Melania had, once upon a time, worked for an escort service. Melania alleges that the story injured her because she “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 multimillion-dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world.”
In short, Melania Trump was suing the Daily Mail‘s operating company, Mail Media, for $150 million because that’s how much money she thinks she would have been able to make over that “multi-year term” if her reputation hadn’t been tarnished by the escort allegations.
She has since settled the lawsuit.
Imagine. Just imagine if Michelle Obama had filed a $150 million defamation lawsuit claiming injury to her reputation because she wouldn’t be able to rake in millions of dollars by trading on her status as First Lady. Michelle couldn’t even get people to do a goddamn jumping jack or eat a vegetable without conservatives freaking out.
The Obamas were held to a wildly different standard than Trump and his brood are—because Blackity Black—and my head hurts just thinking about it.
Fortunately, there’s a Nordstrom Rack down the street and I could use some new everything. That should ease the pain somewhat.