WASHINGTON – Ivanka Trump on Wednesday defended tweeting a photo of herself holding up a can of Goya beans to buck up a Hispanic-owned business that she says has been unfairly treated, arguing that she has “every right” to publicly express her support.
Government watchdogs countered that President Donald Trump's daughter and senior adviser doesn't have the right to violate ethics rules that bar government officials from using their public office to endorse specific products or groups.
These groups contend Ivanka Trump's action also highlights broader concerns about how the president and those around him often blur the line between politics and governing. The White House would be responsible for disciplining Ivanka Trump for any ethics violation but chose not to in a similar case involving White House counselor Kellyanne Conway in 2017.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters accompanying the president to Atlanta on Wednesday that he doubted Ivanka Trump would face any repercussions.
Goya became the target of a consumer boycott after CEO Robert Unanue praised the president at a Hispanic event at the White House last Thursday.
Trump tweeted the next day about his “love” for Goya, and his daughter followed up late Tuesday by tweeting the photo of herself holding a can of Goya black beans with a caption that read, “If it's Goya, it has to be good,” in English and Spanish.
Almost immediately, government watchdogs and social media commentators accused Ivanka Trump of violating ethics rules — an issue that was not addressed in a White House response statement that blamed the news media and the culture of boycotting certain views.
“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 spokesperson Carolina Hurley said in an emailed statement.