Ethics Watchdog Calls for Investigation into Pattern of Promoting Trump Family Ventures on Government Websites

One week after the State Department was forced to apologize for advertising President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort on government websites, American Oversight today called for an investigation into why the taxpayer-funded Voice of America is promoting Ivanka Trump’s new book.

“It’s ‘Voice of America,’ not ‘Voice of the Trump Organization,’ but for the second time in two weeks, taxpayer resources have been used to give the Trumps free advertising,” said Melanie Sloan, Senior Advisor at American Oversight. “Once might be written off as a mistake, but twice is pattern. The State Department Inspector General needs to investigate why government employees are repeatedly promoting Trump family business ventures.”

American Oversight sent a letter to the State Department Inspector General, which has jurisdiction over Voice of America, asking for an investigation into the decision to publish an article by the Associated Press titled “In New Book, Ivanka Trump Gets Serious About Women at Work.”

Government ethics rules prohibit the use of taxpayer resources to promote the first family’s private businesses, and Ivanka Trump herself has announced that she will not be making media appearances or taking a promotional tour to publicize her book. Voice of America is a taxpayer-funded media outlet tasked with promoting American diplomatic interests overseas.

The State Department still has not removed all Facebook posts promoting President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, even after coming under fire last week for posting an article about the resort on several embassy websites and Facebook pages. On April 25, American Oversight wrote to the State Department Inspector General asking for an investigation into whether employees had been encouraged to promote the Trump property.

American Oversight’s letter regarding the Voice of America promotion of Ivanka Trump’s book is below:

Part of Investigation: