As Ivanka Promotes Goya, Trump Fan Raises Over $250,000 to Buy Products

President Donald Trump's supporters, including some of those closest to him, have rallied behind Goya Foods, a popular Hispanic brand, as the company continues to face major blowback after its CEO praised the president's leadership.

In the days since Goya CEO Robert Unanue praised Trump during the unveiling of the president's Hispanic Prosperity Initiative last week, there have been widespread calls for a boycott of Goya Foods' products.

"We are all truly blessed... to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder," Unanue said on Thursday.

Recalling the story of his grandfather, who was a Spanish immigrant with no more than a dollar to his name when he founded Goya in 1936, according to the company, Unanue said: "That's what my grandfather did: He came to this country to build, to grow, to prosper."

"So we have an incredible builder and we pray—we pray for our leadership, our president, and we pray for our country that we will continue to prosper and to grow," Unanue said.

With many pointing out that Unanue's grandfather might not have felt as welcome in the U.S. under the Trump administration's hardline immigration policies, immigration advocates and Trump critics have vowed to boycott Goya Foods.

Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and advisor, attempted to rally support around the company on Tuesday, posting a photo to Twitter posing with a can of beans from Goya.

"If it's Goya, it has to be good," she wrote, using the company's slogan, before repeating it in Spanish.

The move was quickly met with backlash, as well as concerns that the first daughter could be violating ethics standards if found to have been using her government position to promote a company.

In a statement sent to Newsweek on Wednesday, White House spokesperson Carolina Hurley said "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."

"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.

Hurley did not address ethical concerns regarding Ivanka's post.

Ivanka's post came as Trump supporter Casey Harper, a producer for conservative pundit Eric Bolling, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through a GoFundMe page to purchase Goya Foods products to be donated to the homeless in the wake of the boycott.

By early Wednesday morning, Harper had raised more than $248,000 to purchase Goya products, with the goal of donating them to food pantries in the U.S. and to also support local food stores.

"The liberal mob is coming for anyone who disagrees. Cancel culture at its worst. We need to have our voice heard!" Harper's GoFundMe states. "What if we rise up to say no to cancel culture AND feed the hungry at the same time?" it says.

While the GoFundMe page was initially started with the goal of donating food purchases to food pantries, Harper later said that he "would like to use some of the funds to support local grocery stores," though it is not clear how much.

In the wake of the backlash Goya Foods has faced, the company's CEO has made clear that he will not apologize for supporting the president.

"It is suppression of speech," Unanue said of calls for an apology during a recent appearance on Fox News' Fox & Friends.

"You're allowed to talk good or to praise one president," he said. Yet, Unanue said, "when I was called to be part of this commission, to aid in economic and educational prosperity, and you make a positive comment, and all of a sudden it is not acceptable."

Newsweek has contacted Harper and Goya Foods for comment.

This article has been updated with a statement from the White House.

Ivanka Trump
President Donald Trump and his daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump attend an American Workforce Policy Advisory Board Meeting in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. on June 26, 2020. Ivanka Trump sought to promote Goya Foods products as the company faces backlash over its CEO's support for Trump. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty