Five days before Kamala Harris was sworn in as vice-president, her niece Meena Harris appeared on the Today show for an interview conducted by Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of former president George W. Bush. 5 of Melania Trump’s biggest fashion fails as first lady View this post on Instagram A post shared by Meena Harris (@meena) Meena discussed the historic nature of the moment, along with a pitch for her latest children’s book, Ambitious Girl , released on the eve of the inauguration. She wore a pink sweatshirt emblazoned with the word “ambitious” in large type, plugging a popular item in her Phenomenal brand clothing line. All this as pictures of Meena and Kamala Harris flashed across the screen. Which world leader gave Melania Trump the most blinging gift? The television appearance, like others in recent months, demonstrated the degree to which the 36-year-old social media influencer has meshed her personal brand with her aunt’s ascendant political career. Meena, who was an official campaign spokesperson, has used that publicity to promote her lifestyle brand, which has over time capitalised on Kamala Harris’ name, likeness, life history and political slogans to produce clothing, videos, bestselling children’s books and designer headphones. Her promotional activities and close involvement in her aunt’s career have long reportedly raised eyebrows among Kamala Harris’ aides and advisors. 18 financial perks Joe Biden will enjoy as US president The younger Harris – a Harvard-trained lawyer who previously worked at Uber along with her stepfather, Tony West – started a company four years ago that sells socially conscious T-shirts and sweatshirts, often worn by celebrities and posted on her Instagram, TikTok and other social media accounts, alongside selfies she takes with her aunt. There is increasing concern that the personal branding endeavours will bring the vice-president unwanted scrutiny. “Some things can’t be undone,” said a White House official who would only comment anonymously on the segment from Today . “That being said: Behaviour needs to change.” Vice-President Harris and President Joe Biden campaigned explicitly against the Trump family’s self-dealing and were put on the defensive over Hunter Biden’s foreign business entanglements . The president has recently faced renewed questions over his brother Frank, whose Florida law firm has sought to promote its White House connection. Before Lady Gaga’s inauguration moment, who else rocked a brooch? Meena’s ethical issues sit in a grey area, more problems of appearance than legality. They do not rival the entanglements created by the family of former president Donald Trump. A business led by his sons Eric and Donald Jr., and owned by Trump, profited from allied political groups and depended on foreign governments while he sat in the Oval Office. His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law, Jared Kushner , held major interests in a lifestyle brand and family real estate businesses while they served as senior advisers to the president. But there are growing concerns that Meena, in a smaller way, is leveraging her aunt’s position, joining a long tradition of family members of presidents and vice-presidents who have caused political anxiety at the White House. “We’ve been attacking the Trumps for years on all of the gross grifting,” said a former adviser to Kamala Harris, also speaking anonymously. “We ought to be much cleaner.” After Biden and Harris won the election, the transition team’s ethics lawyers told Meena that she could no longer produce clothing or write new books with her aunt’s name or likeness, according to a White House official. 8 films and TV shows Barack and Michelle Obama are developing with Netflix Meena would not say whether she continues to collect royalties from her first book, which features her aunt’s name and image on the cover. A White House official said the book, along with “Vice-President Aunty” sweatshirts, Harris-themed swimsuits and other products previously sold, were not allowed under the current rules. But even after the briefing with ethics lawyers, Meena flew to the inauguration on a private plane with a Biden donor and posted about the trip on Instagram, which was first reported by Politico. She launched a production company that produced a video with a political group to celebrate her aunt. And she collaborated on special-edition Beats by Dre headphones that used a slogan popularised by Kamala Harris – “The first but not the last” – and that were sent to celebrities. In addition, until recently Phenomenal’s online store continued to sell a sweatshirt that read, “I’m speaking”, a Kamala Harris quote that went viral after she said it while debating then-Vice-President Mike Pence. During the campaign, Meena also made profane “Get out the vote” T-shirts and other apparel that blurred the line between private interest and campaign activity, and she would not say whether the proceeds went to political groups. She declined to answer written questions or agree to an interview for this story. Inside Prince Harry and Jill Biden’s unlikely years-long friendship “Since the beginning of the campaign, I have insisted on upholding all legal and ethical standards and will continue to strictly adhere to the ethics rules of the Biden/Harris White House,” she said in a statement provided by a public relations firm. “With regards to Phenomenal, it was always our plan to remove the likeness of the Vice-President from the website before the inauguration, and refrain from using her likeness in any products or campaigns going forward.” Of course, all family members get added attention when a relative is elected president or vice-president. After stealing the spotlight at the presidential inauguration ceremony last month , Harris’ stepdaughter Ella Emhoff recently landed a contract with IMG Models. Her staff could not say whether the vice-president, who shares a birthday and a particularly close bond with her niece, has discussed the issue with her. How are Meghan Markle and Prince Harry making money now? The Biden White House has posted an aggressive ethics policy for appointees but has not published rules for family. An aide said there is a process for family representatives to review questions with the White House counsel’s office as they arise. The administration has said it will bar family members from serving on boards of foreign-owned companies and will generally forbid them from private-sector activities that create an appearance of a conflict of interest. Opinion | Why are celebrities and billionaires flocking to new social voice app Clubhouse? “The Vice-President and her family will uphold the highest ethical standards and it’s the White House’s policy that the Vice-President’s name should not be used in connection with any commercial activities that could reasonably be understood to imply an endorsement or support,” vice-presidential spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said in a statement. Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter . This article originally appeared on the Los Angeles Times .