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Trump Follows Up Ivanka's Goya Beans Post With Thumbs Up From Oval Office

The newest front in America's culture wars is one that no one saw coming: beans.

And, what could have easily been a minor flare-up has been fed oxygen from all sides and is now well on its way to becoming a full-on conflagration after the White House weighed in, prompting accusations of impropriety and ethics violations, suppression of free speech, and, well, it's a whole thing now.

To recap, Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue praised President Trump during a Rose Garden press conference.

That praise alienated many in the Latino community who have used Goya's products for years and who considered it a "slap in the face" to fawn over the man who announced his presidential run by calling Mexicans "rapists" and has overseen a harsh policy of family separation at the border.

Calls for boycotts of Goya's products spread on social media almost immediately after Unanue's comments aired.

Senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump responded to the controversy with a post on Twitter supporting Goya's products.

With many Trump supporters, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz, calling the proposed boycott a suppression of free speech - conveniently forgetting the president's own encouragement of a boycott of Nike over the company's support for Colin Kaepernick's kneeling protests of racial injustice - Ivanka tweeted her support for the suddenly beleaguered Goya brand.

Almost immediately after putting up her post, the president's daughter was accused of ethics violations.

Walter Shaub, who headed the U.S. Office of Government Ethics from 2013 to 2017, called Ivanka Trump's tweet "clearly a violation of the government's misuse of position regulation."

"There's a particularly unseemly aspect to this violation: it creates the appearance that the government's endorsement is for sale," Shaub continued on Twitter. "Endorse the president and the administration will endorse your product."

An official White House statement pushed back against those allegations.

Facebook | The White House

"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," spokesperson 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."

Further bolstering support for both Goya and Ivanka, the president followed up with a post of his own.

Grinning and giving a thumbs up, the president posed in the Oval Office with a variety of Goya products arrayed in front of him on the Resolute Desk. However, the president's Instagram post contained no comment.

The president has also expressed his support for Goya on Twitter, tweeting "@GoyaFoods is doing GREAT. The Radical Left smear machine backfired, people are buying like crazy!"

Experts suggest that efforts to align Trump with Goya is a risky move.

Although the president's poll numbers among Latino voters appear to be tanking, many in Trump campaign circles believe that boycotting such a popular brand will backfire, Politico reported.

Some Democrat pollsters believe the president has underestimated the feelings in the Latino community, however. Chuck Rocha, who heads up a Latino-centric, Biden-backing SuperPAC, told Politico that "it just was a punch in the gut to see the head of something so culturally iconic for Latinos — Goya — standing up there with the most-hated figure who symbolizes everything going wrong in our society. It was just a tsunami of anger."

Ethics and political considerations aside, the president's Instagram post also drew criticism for its timing.

CNN anchors Anderson Cooper and Chris Cuomo in particular excoriated President Trump's Goya photo.

"Thumbs up. Orange. Grinning like he won a prize," Cooper commented on the pic. "137,000 Americans dead and this is our self-proclaimed wartime President's answer to it."

Cuomo was even less reserved, shouting "You tell me how a president in the middle of a pandemic has got time for this bulls---! Are you kidding me? Hawking products? Goya, I don't care who it is? Resolute desk? This is what he is resolute about! Pandemic priorities?"

h/t: ABC News, AP News, Politico