The president's niece Mary Trump, who just released a scathing memoir about him, chimed in on the Goya controversy as well

By Sean Neumann and Benjamin VanHoose
July 15, 2020 06:21 PM
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Donald Trump Engages in a Battle of Beans With His Niece While U.S. Experiences Nationwide Unrest
President Donald Trump poses in the Oval Office with Goya products
| Credit: Donald Trump/Instagram

It seems there is no better time than right now — four months into the novel coronavirus pandemic, with more than 130,000 people dead in the U.S. — for the Trump White House to talk about beans.

A day after daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump made an endorsement of the Hispanic food company Goya, President Donald Trump posted an Instagram photo of him smiling with both thumbs up in the Oval Office with a display of Goya products lined up in front of him.

The president did not caption the post, though he has repeatedly defended Goya after the company's CEO drew online backlash and boycott calls from liberals for supporting him.

In recent statements, the White House has said Goya and fans like Ivanka were being unfairly targeted by "cancel culture," which is emerging as a dominant theme of Trump's imperiled re-election campaign.

“They will shame anyone who associates with this administration, but the silent majority stand strong and it's shameful what they did to Bob,” Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Fox & Friends on Monday.

".@GoyaFoods is doing GREAT," the president tweeted on Wednesday. "The Radical Left smear machine backfired, people are buying like crazy!"

It was the latest example of the unusual extent to which the president and his aides will respond to all manner of social media controversies, even amid more pressing issues and even if it risks breaking ethics rules.

Donald Trump; Ivanka Trump
From left: President Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump
| Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Ivanka's Tuesday tweet showed her holding a can of Goya beans along with the brand's slogan in English and Spanish.

Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics and a Trump critic, soon spoke out to say she was violating ethics guidelines, CNN reported.

According to the Office of Government Ethics: "Executive branch employees may not use their Government positions to suggest that the agency or any part of the executive branch endorses an organization (including a nonprofit organization), product, service, or person."

Fox & Friends weekend host Jedediah Bila chimed in as well, tweeting: "We can’t have people who work in administrations holding up products and promoting them. It’s unethical."

The wave of White House support comes after Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue said during a press conference at the White House last week that "we’re all truly blessed" to have Trump, 74, as president.

Chrissy Teigen was among the celebrities initially speaking out against Goya, which touts itself as the "largest, Hispanic-owned food company in the United States" and offers staple seasonings and Latin food products. Teigen had words about Ivanka's recent tweet too.

"[H]ad it with anyone who EVER defends this woman or puts her as the 'sane' one in this family," the model-turned-chef tweeted of Ivanka.

Of Unanue, Teigen had tweeted last week:  "F--------K. A shame. Don’t care how good the beans taste though. Bye bye." Posting the same sentiment on Instagram, she added: "There are other beans. Shop responsibly."

Responding to the social media backlash, Unanue told Fox News on Friday: “You’re allowed to talk good or to praise one president, but you’re not allowed to aid in economic and educational prosperity? And you make a positive comment and all of a sudden, it is not acceptable.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment about the president's Goya photo.

Niece Mary Trump, who just released a scathing tell-all about him, on Wednesday tweeted a can of beans as well — made by a competitor.