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President Trump, Ivanka promote Goya foods on social media

Critics contend Ivanka Trump violated federal ethics rules using her role as White House adviser to promote a business. President Trump is exempt.
Credit: AP
Ivanka Trump listens as President Donald Trump speaks during an event on human trafficking in the East Room of the White House, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday posted a photo of himself in the Oval Office promoting Goya food products. It came a day after his daughter and White House adviser, Ivanka Trump, also promoted the brand on social media -- a move that sparked criticism over alleged ethics violations.

Goya has been facing a boycott from consumers after CEO Robert Unanue praised President Trump last week.

In the president's photo posted to Instagram, he's seen seated with the Goya products displayed on the Resolute Desk. The president is smiling and giving two thumbs up.

In the tweet by Ivanka Trump, she is seen holding up a can of Goya beans with the company's slogan, "If it's Goya, it has to be good," written in English and Spanish.

Ivanka Trump sent the tweet from a personal Twitter account that does double duty chronicling her work on various White House initiatives.

There's speculation that Ivanka Trump may have violated an ethics law with the tweet. The Justice Department says, "an employee may not use his public office for his own private gain or for that of persons or organizations with which he is associated personally. An employee's position or title should not be used to coerce; to endorse any product, service or enterprise; or to give the appearance of governmental sanction."

The White House responded not to the allegations of ethics violations, but to blame 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.

“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,” Hurley said.

As president, Donald Trump is exempt from many of the rules that federal workers must follow.

Standing next to President Trump in the Rose Garden last week, Unaune said “We're all truly blessed, at the same time, to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder."

The company calls itself the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States.

RELATED: Calls to boycott Goya Foods after CEO praises President Trump at White House

Among those raising ethical concerns, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted about the potential conflict of interest, writing in Spanish that "If it's Trump, it has to be corrupt."

President Trump gave his support the company by tweeting last Friday, "I LOVE @GoyaFoods!"

Other White House staffers have been criticized for their comments. Kellyanne Conway was investigated in 2017 after she encouraged Americans to buy Ivanka Trump-branded products. She was later cleared for any wrongdoing.

RELATED: Ethics office: White House should investigate Conway for Ivanka Trump plug

RELATED: President Trump signs executive order as he courts Hispanic voters

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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