Ethics office highlights ban on endorsements after Trump tweets 'Buy L.L. Bean'

Ethics office highlights ban on endorsements after Trump tweets 'Buy L.L. Bean'
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The chief government ethics watchdog reminded executive branch employees Friday they are barred from endorsing products — one day after President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJudge rules Alaska governor unlawfully fired lawyer who criticized Trump Giuliani led fake electors plot: CNN Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case MORE tweeted his support for retailer L.L. Bean.

The Office of Government Ethics posted a “refresher” on its website Friday that details certain practices that are prohibited for members of the executive branch. Included on the list is “endorsing any product, service, or company.”


The article was posted one day after Trump tweeted “Buy L.L. Bean” to his nearly 20 million followers.

Trump thanked Linda Bean, the heiress to the outdoor apparel company and supporter of a pro-Trump PAC, in the tweet.

The OGE post does not make any mention of Trump directly, but the president-elect and the independent ethics watchdog for the executive branch have clashed lately on ethical issues. 

On Wednesday, OGE Director Walter Shaub said a just-announced plan by Trump to distance himself from his broad business interests was “wholly inadequate” since the incoming president planned to retain a stake in his empire, while handing day-to-day control to his two adult sons.

In turn, Republicans on the House Oversight Committee have requested a private interview with Shaub to discuss legislation reauthorizing the office.

Ethics experts hailing from both parties have been insistent that the only way Trump can protect himself from questions of conflicts of interest is by divesting completely from all his assets, as has been standard practice for presidents for the last four decades.

But Trump has resisted those requests and instead said he would retain ownership of his company while no longer managing it.

The latest “Director’s Note” from OGE was its first in nearly two months.