Donald Trump posted an angry tweet about his daughter's brands being dropped by chain of department stores, 21 minutes after his official White House schedule said his daily intelligence briefing was due to start.
The US President claimed Ivanka Trump had been “treated so unfairly” by Nordstrom, after it dropped the 35-year-old’s clothing line.
The post was later re-shared by his official and taxpayer-funded @POTUS account, a profile intended for presidential business only.
Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, defended the billionaire’s actions, claiming Mr Trump was responding to an “attack on this daughter”.
The President had “every right to stand up for his family and applaud their business activities, their success”, Mr Spicer said.
He added: "So, look, when it comes to his family I think he's been very clear how proud he is of what they do and what they've accomplished. And for someone to take out their concern with his policies on a family member of his is just, is not acceptable. And the president has every right, as a father, to stand up for them."
Mr Spicer suggested there was a “targeting” of Ms Trump’s brand due to “her father’s position on particular policies”.
The press secretary also insisted the President was free at the time he tweeted.
Nordstrom said the decision to drop the clothing line was made in early January, while Barack Obama was still President.
“Over the past year, and particularly in the last half of 2016, sales of the brand have steadily declined to the point where it didn’t make good business sense for us to continue with the line for now,” the company said in a statement.
Mr Trump was criticised for using his office to complain.
The Independent has attempted to contact the White House for comment but none had been received at the time of publication.
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