President Donald Trump used his Twitter account Wednesday to criticize Nordstrom for dropping his daughter’s fashion line, saying the department store treated Ivanka Trump “so unfairly.”
Trump’s post was retweeted by the official account of the president, @POTUS.
“My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!,” Trump wrote.
Ethics experts questioned Trump’s was using his office for personal or business gain.
The tweet was an “abuse of power,” said Richard Painter, ethics lawyer under former President George W. Bush.
“I’ve never seen a president trash a particular company because of a personal grievance,” said Painter, a University of Minnesota law professor.
Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) quoted Trump’s tweet and flagged it for the U.S. Office of Government Ethics on Twitter.
The Seattle-based Nordstrom said it made its decision on the basis of declining sales. “We made this decision based on performance,” Nordstrom said in a statement which said it had informed Ivanka Trump personally early last month.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the tweet represented a father defending his daughter.
“There’s clearly an attempt for him to stand up for her because she is being maligned because they have a problem with his policies,” Spicer told reporters.
After Trump’s tweet, Nordstrom stock fell briefly but quickly recovered.
Ivanka Trump has separated herself from her fashion brand since her father’s election.