Donald Trump tweet could land him in legal difficulties

He might not have thought this one through...

Donald Trump tweet could land him in legal difficulties

Evan Vucci AP/Press Association Images

Just in case Donald Trump's Twitter output was getting a little stale, the US President broke new ground yesterday using his account to publicly defend his daughter's (who's husband is one of his senior advisers) business interests.

He took aim at fashion retailer Nordstorm for dropping her clothing from its stores.

The company said this was a decision based on the performance of the brand - Donald Trump believes that the act was a direct response to his 'travel ban' executive order.

The comment was retweeted by the official @POTUS account.

The White House has doubled-down on this decision today, with Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump called on Fox viewers to "Go buy Ivanka's stuff," when addressing the issue.

"I own some of it ... I'm gonna just going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today everybody. You can find it online," she added, in a plea which may have violated ethical codes.

The internet's favourite spokesperson, Sean Spicer addressed the issue today, saying, "I think this is less about his family's business and an attack on his daughter."

"There are clearly efforts to undermine that name based on her father's positions on particular policies that he's taken. This is a direct attack on his policies and her name. Her because she is being maligned because they have a problem with his policies," he continued.

Norm Eisen, who worked under Barack Obama and is a former-White House ethics chief believes this intervention by the US President could land him in legal trouble.

"I think it's an abuse of the office of the presidency," he told MSNBC.

"To attack this company on dubious factual assertions in order to promote his daughter, whatever degree of separation she has, we still don't know if Donald Trump himself is invested in those businesses ... And it's just the latest in a series of these entanglements," he continued.

Mr Eisen added that Nordstorm has been subject to "unfair business practices" and that the company has "a case of action" against Mr Trump.

PA

Jon D. Michaels, a professor at UCLA's School of Law, discussed this issue with Engadget - he believes that the tweet fell shy of breaching the Office's conflict of interest rules: "This administration is essentially getting as close as possible to violating a lot of laws, but never actually stepping past it."

"It has all the appearances of serious impropriety ... It's not law, but it is much more about the pitfalls of maintaining the legitimacy and impartiality of the office of the president. It's culturally and politically problematic," he added.

Unlike other companies who the US president criticised on Twitter - Nordstorm shares are actually up since Mr Trump tweeted.