First, the State Department got caught using its website to promote Mar-a-Lago, Trump's private club in Florida where he often conducts White House business within earshot of the club's wealthy members.1
The next week, the State Department got caught AGAIN, this time promoting Ivanka Trump's new book.
These are clear abuses of public resources to help the Trump family profit from the presidency. If we don't stop this now, the worst abuses of taxpayer money could be yet to come.
Sign and share the petition: No State Department resources should be used to promote Trump brands!
Federal ethics rules are clear on this issue. Employees should "not use public office for the endorsement of any product or service.”3
Rep. Barbara Lee called the Mar-a-Lago incident “definitely unethical and probably illegal.”4
The administration’s concern for ethics rules have been woeful. Kellyanne Conway plugged Ivanka Trump’s clothing brand in a February interview that even a Republican member of Congress called "wrong, wrong, wrong" – but the administration took no disciplinary action.4
Sign and share the petition: Tell Rex Tillerson that NO State Department resources should be used to enrich the Trumps!
The State Department removed the Mar-a-Lago blog post under public pressure. But that's no cause for celebration. The Trump administration is notorious for flouting the rules. And they only change course if they get caught.
That’s why Americans need a strong, definitive statement from Secretary of State Tillerson that using public resources to promote Trump’s businesses is never okay. Tillerson must also ensure all his employees understand and follow federal employee ethics rules.
Sign the petition to tell the State Department: Stop plugging Trump’s brands!
1. The Hill, “CNN’s Tapper: US 'shamelessly' advertising Trump's businesses,” April 24, 2017.
2. Huffington Post, "State Department Promotes Ivanka Trump’s Book In Another Ethics Blunder," May 4, 2017.
3. Fast Company, “Ethics Expert Cries Foul at State Department's Promotion of Mar-a-Lago,” April 24, 2017.
4. Lee, Rep. Barbara (RepBarbaraLee) “The Trump @StateDept was using federal resources to directly benefit the Trump brand. Definitely unethical & probably illegal,” April 24, 2017.
5. New York Times,“Kellyanne Conway Promotes Ivanka Trump Brand, Raising Ethics Concerns,” February 9, 2017.