White House Staff Ethics Training is Ongoing, Spokeswoman Says

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

There’s no public word on any discipline for presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway for her Feb. 9 White House pressroom endorsement of Ivanka Trump’s fashion line, despite an opinion from the Office of Government Ethics that she likely violated executive branch ethics rules.

But the White House Counsel’s Office “has been providing specialized training to individual components within the Executive Office of the President on a range of issues,” a spokeswoman told Government Executive. Issues discussed include financial “disclosure requirements, conflicts of interest, gifts, travel, the Presidential Records Act, the STOCK Act, use of official resources (personal and political), the Hatch Act, outside income and post-employment issues,” she said.

The legal team is “also continuously advising employees on an individual basis as questions arise in the course of their official duties. They have also been issuing written guidance to all staff,” the spokeswoman said. “There have been several ongoing ethics briefings and meetings as well as regular updates as needed.”

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The ethics training, according to reports, began as early as Jan. 22.

On Jan. 28, President Trump signed an ethics order that forbids his appointees from future lobbying for the agencies at which they worked.

And the Trump team’s efforts at taking seriously the required background checks on incoming White House staff resulted in the dismissal on Feb. 16 of six job holders, as first reported by Politico, including Trump’s scheduler and two on the National Security Council staff who required security clearances.

Such background checks include questions about credit ratings and substance abuse.

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