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Ivanka Trump’s Goya photo violated ethics rules, watchdog group says

Justin Sink

A watchdog group has filed a complaint with the Office of Government Ethics over Ivanka Trump’s social media endorsement of Goya Foods Inc., saying the photo violated government rules.

President Donald Trump’s daughter, a senior White House adviser, posted a photo of herself holding a can of the company’s black beans after Goya Chief Executive Officer Robert Unanue last week said the country was “truly blessed” to have Trump as its leader.

Ivanka Trump took to Twitter, holding a can of Goya black beans.

Some liberal groups urged a boycott of Goya products following Unanue’s remarks, made at a White House roundtable with Hispanic leaders on July 9.

Ivanka Trump’s post was a violation of federal ethics regulations prohibiting employees from endorsing “any product, service or enterprise,” the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington argued in its complaint, which was released on Friday.

Disturbing pattern

The group previously raised concern over White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, who endorsed Ivanka Trump’s clothing line during remarks in the White House briefing room.

“This is not just about beans; it’s another example of a disturbing pattern of this administration acting to benefit the businesses of the president’s supporters,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement.

“In the midst of a worsening pandemic, senior administration officials should not be focused on the promotion of an ally’s business and should not be providing official incentives for businesses to support them politically.”

The White House has said it’s not worried about ethics concerns raised by the incident, and Ivanka Trump is unlikely to face consequences because the president ultimately determines punishment for ethics violations. Trump opted against punishing Conway for her remarks, even after the Office of Special Counsel ruled that she should be removed from her job for numerous violations.

“This tweet was made in her personal capacity voicing her personal support,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. “This complaint is another politically-motivated, baseless attack from an organization with a vendetta against all of the administration.”

Unanue told Fox News he had no regrets about his praise for the president, and said he had also participated in White House events during the Obama administration.

The president has touted the company in recent days, tweeting a picture from the Oval Office’s Resolute Desk of himself surrounded by various Goya products.