Trump poses with can of beans and coconut milk in Oval Office after Goya backlash

Post followed president's daughter, Ivanka, posing with product on Tuesday night

James Crump
Wednesday 15 July 2020 23:22
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Goya Foods CEO praises Trump

President Donald Trump has posted a picture to Instagram posing with Goya Foods products, following a boycott of the company last week after its CEO Robert Unanue publicly praised him.

Mr Trump smiled and put his thumbs up, while posing behind his desk in the Oval Office on Wednesday, with five Goya products including coconut milk and red kidney beans laid out in front of him.

Mr Unanue joined Mr Trump at an event at the White House‘s Rose Garden last week and told reporters: “We are all truly blessed ... to have a leader like president Trump who is a builder.”

He added that “we have an incredible builder, and we pray. We pray for our leadership, our president.”

After his comments, some of the president’s critics, including congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, said they would boycott the brand.

The CEO of the Latino foods brand refused to apologise for praising the president and told Fox News that the boycott of Goya products that followed his comments were a “suppression of speech.”

President Trump defended Mr Unanue on Twitter last week and said that “@GoyaFoods is doing GREAT. The Radical Left smear machine backfired, people are buying like crazy!”

Mr Trump’s post on Wednesday, followed one from his daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump, who published a photo of herself holding a can of Goya black beans on Twitter on Tuesday night.

In her caption, Ms Trump wrote: “If it’s Goya, it has to be good,” and translated the comment in Spanish below.

After she posted the picture, people pointed out that the post might have violated an ethics rule that states that government employees must not endorse any product.

The section that Ms Trump may have violated reads: “An employee shall not use or permit the use of his government position or title or any authority associated with his public office to endorse any product, service or enterprise.”

White House spokeswoman Carolina Hurley defended Ms Trump in a statement to CNN, where she said the president’s daughter showed personal support for the product.

“Ivanka is proud of this strong, Hispanic-owned business with deep roots in the US and has every right to express her personal support.”

However, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, tweeted on Wednesday that the post “was an ethics violation”.

Mr Shaub said that although Ms Trump’s Twitter page is a personal one, she included her job role, which is a factor in deciding whether a post is a violation.

He added: “If you tout the company’s product in an obvious response to the backlash the company is facing for the CEO’s remarks about your father-president, you knowingly link your account in people’s minds to your official activities; you create the appearance of official sanction.”

The president did not include a caption in his post to Instagram on Wednesday.

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