The Trump family has long struggled in their promotion of food products — and even their efforts to make menu items look vaguely edible — but that didn’t stop Ivanka Trump from endorsing a can of Goya Foods black beans on Tuesday night. In elementary Spanish, she provided the latest entry in the uncanny genre of Trump-food pictures, clocking in on the horror scale somewhere between “GOP candidate eats bucket of chicken with a fork on a private plane” and “president turns the White House East Room into the fast-food Overlook Hotel.”
After Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue appeared at the White House last week and said that the country was “blessed to have a leader” like President Trump, some consumers of the country’s largest Hispanic-owned food company said they would boycott the brand’s pantry staples. Gustavo Arellano, a Los Angeles Times reporter and the author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, told the New York Times that the comments were a betrayal for many Latinx consumers: “To see something that represents nurture and community and family and most importantly the kitchen? That’s where it’s a stab in the heart. Or the stomach.”
In her effort to make a can of beans the latest totem of the culture war, the tweet from the senior adviser to the president also appears to violate the ethical standards for executive-branch employees, who may not use public office for private gain or “for the endorsement of any product.” Past examples of White House officials endorsing products — specifically, Trump-family products — include Kellyanne Conway telling a Fox News audience to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff” and the president’s advertising of his Doral resort as the potential site of the G-7.