Ivanka Trump’s tweet endorsing Goya foods was shameless – and possibly illegal?
Amid ongoing calls to boycott Goya Foods, President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday to express her support for the Spanish food company. In doing so, she injected herself into a political storm and cynically fueled the current debate on cancellation culture.
But did she also violate federal ethics laws?
The controversy over Goya Foods began to simmer last week during a White House event launching the Hispanic Prosperity Initiative. Participating in the launch of President Trump’s executive order focused on increased economic and educational support for the Hispanic community, Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue provided glowing comments about the president.
“We are all truly blessed … to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder,” Mr. Unanue said. “We have an amazing builder, and we pray. We pray for our leadership, our president.”
The response to Mr. Unanue’s comments was swift. Many commentators have expressed outrage that the CEO of a company with such a large Latinx customer base is so complimentary of a president who has enforced some of America’s toughest anti-immigrant policies of the past century. Prominent public figures with a Latinx heritage, such as former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) also joined the fray, with tweets apparently encouraging a boycott of the company. Despite the fierce backlash, Mr Unanue doubled down on his comments during an appearance on Fox News, only further frustrating his critics and increasing calls online for #BoycottGoya and #Goyaway.
Calls to boycott the popular food company resulted in an equally strong counter-campaign, a so-called “buy-cott” from supporters of President Trump, encouraging purchases of the company’s products. The counter-campaign made the news in the conservative media, apparently finding a whole new base of support for the beleaguered food company, apparently including Ivanka Trump.
Tuesday, the president’s daughter, and senior administrative official, tweeted a photo of herself holding a can of Goya Foods black beans, with the caption in Spanish and English: “If it’s Goya, it must be good.” Si es Goya, tiene que ser Bueno. ”
While clearly political, albeit cynical, was the President’s Daughter Tweet a violation of federal ethics laws?
The Hatch Act of 1939 prohibits federal executive employees from undertaking certain activities on behalf of a political candidate. In addition, some ethics laws prevent government officials from making statements or product approvals that would leverage their role for financial gain. Along with her husband Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump is a federal employee and subject to these demands. By promoting Goya Foods in the context of the current political campaign, it is possible that his Tweet could be seen as a form of political activity in support of the President’s re-election campaign. Likewise, the photo and text of his Tweet appear to be an endorsement of the product and the company, in violation of federal ethics laws.
This is not the first time Trump or other members of the administration have come under fire for ethical concerns about endorsements. In 2017, Kellyanne Conway, a senior advisor to Trump, told Fox News that people should “go and buy Ivanka’s stuff,” a reference to the president’s daughters merchandise and products company, a company that Trump has closed thereafter. Likewise, there have been many questions about how the Trump administration both promoted and used the properties of the Trump business organization for potential personal gain.
The Trump administration, for its part, has been lax in enforcing ethical standards in response to complaints about such activities. As a result, the current circumstances with Ivanka Trump are highly unlikely to be any different. Yet by mixing up his unusual position as both a senior government official and the president’s daughter and political deputy, Trump has shown a disregard for ethical standards and good government, putting family and politics first. the public interest.
In doing so, Ivanka Trump once again represented an administration that many believe will be considered one of the most unethical in American history.
And this is not a hill of beans.