Ivanka Trump Faces Backlash after Posing with a Can of Goya Beans

CBS News
July 15, 2020 - 10:39 am
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    Ivanka Trump is facing backlash after tweeting a photo of herself holding up a can of Goya beans.

    The tweet from the president's daughter includes Goya's slogan, "If it's Goya, it has to be good," in both English and in Spanish. She also posted the image to her Facebook and Instagram pages.

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    Trump's social media post comes days after Goya CEO Robert Unanue praised Mr. Trump during an event last week at the White House. "We're all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder," Unanue said.

    Unanue's remarks prompted calls for a boycott of Goya, which considers itself the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the U.S. In response, Unanue said he was "not apologizing" and called the #BoycottGoya campaign an attempt at "suppression of speech."

    Many on Twitter wondered if Trump's tweet would add to Goya's woes.

    Others questioned the ethics of Trump seemingly endorsing Goya products by using the company's slogan in her tweet and holding up a can of black beans.

    Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also tweeted about the potential conflict of interest, writing in Spanish that "If it's Trump, it has to be corrupt."

    The tweet raised questions about whether Trump violated federal ethics rules prohibiting the use of "public office for [their> own private gain, for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise." Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics, said that the tweet was "clearly a violation of the government's misuse of position regulation."

    The White House, however, defended the post in a statement on Wednesday.

    "Only the media and the cancel culture movement would criticize Ivanka for showing her personal support for a company that has been unfairly mocked, boycotted and ridiculed for supporting this administration — one that has consistently fought for and delivered for the Hispanic community," White House communications aide Carolina Hurley said. "Ivanka is proud of this strong, Hispanic-owned business with deep roots in the U.S. and has every right to express her personal support."

     Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, are advisers to the president.

    In 2017, Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to Mr. Trump, was investigated for a similar incident when she encouraged Americans to buy Ivanka Trump branded products after they were dropped from Nordstrom stores. Conway was cleared of any wrongdoing, as deputy counsel to the president on compliance and ethics Stefan Passantino said she had "acted inadvertently" and "without nefarious motive."