In recent days, the tweets of President Donald J. Trump have largely set out to target those—the media, “so-called” judges, the University of California, Berkeley,—whom the president feels are interfering with his agenda or America’s greatness writ large. But on Wednesday, Trump offered up a throwback of sorts by tweeting angrily at the retailer Nordstrom, which reportedly severed ties with Ivanka Trump’s label earlier this week.
My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person -- always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
The president’s decision to lash out at Nordstrom, which was quickly criticized as “outrageous” by Norm Eisen, former President Obama’s ethics advisor and an Atlantic contributor, represents a return to utilizing social media to address his personal feelings about brands or boycotters. Last month, a week before his inauguration, Trump publicly thanked L.L. Bean, the Maine-based outfitter, after news spread of an illegally excessive contribution to a pro-Trump PAC by Linda Bean, one of the company’s board members and the granddaughter of the founder. The contribution prompted coordinated protests and boycotts of the brand.
Trump’s sudden-but-predictable crusade against Nordstrom is a fitting turn; the company’s original willingness to stock wares produced by Ivanka Trump’s line is what inspired the founding of #GrabYourWallet, an influential online database that urges boycotts of companies with political or financial ties to Trump and his family. Shannon Coulter, the co-founder of #GrabYourWallet, told me last month that seeing Trump-branded products among Nordstrom’s online offerings initially convinced her to mobilize.