Questions have long abounded about Donald Trump’s ethics issues and the conflicts of interest that have arisen with his ascendancy to the presidency. While most people assumed he would have some issues on this front, few believed that the administration would be so bold at proclaiming them. Of course, anybody who has followed his business strategies were prepared, as his history indicates a man who has few qualms about profiting in a less than above board manner. Now, one of his top advisers, Kellyanne Conway, is being forced to apologize, and possibly face an inquiry into her blatant abuse of office in the wake of Trump’s latest feud, this time with Nordstrom.

Unable to ignore this lapse

Conway, taking a break from her usual task of putting doublespeak and alternative facts in front of the American people, decided to flat-out offer an endorsement of Ivanka Trump’s line of clothing following the announcement that Nordstrom would no longer carry it. In using her capacity as an administration official to endorse a product, she has very publicly and blatantly crossed an ethics line.

Even some GOP members of congress, generally going along with Trump’s shenanigans most of the time, have come out to call for an ethics investigation following the statements in question. Long the party of opposing ethics when it comes to top officials, Republicans can’t afford to ignore everything the Trumpkins do, lest they be dragged down with him.

Follow the leader

The president himself already skirted the line on the Nordstrom issue with a tweet calling out the company for dropping Ivanka’s line of clothing. But while that tweet was probably over the line, it was still close enough to warrant mild criticism. Not so for Conway, whose statements on "Fox & Friends" were clearly over the line: “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff is what I would tell you.

It’s a wonderful line, I own some of it.” And, lest anybody believe it was just a one time slip of the tongue, she doubled down and said “I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”

For their part, Trump and his people pulled Conway aside and claim to have counseled her on the issue.

But when the counseling is coming from none other that Trump himself, one has to wonder if it’s a bit like a fox counseling a weasel on eating chickens: more about how not to get caught than how not to do it.