“You tell me how a president, in the middle of a pandemic, has got time for this b-------. Are you kidding me? Hawking products?” Cuomo asked, with the expletive airing unedited. He added, “Resolute desk! This is what he’s resolute about.”
Questioning the president’s “pandemic priorities” on “Cuomo Prime Time,” the CNN host showed the viral photo of presidential adviser and first daughter Ivanka Trump holding up a can of Goya black beans earlier this week, which prompted concern about whether she was using her government position to endorse a private business. Cuomo accused the administration of “marketing for a brand,” while the number of reported coronavirus cases in the U.S. now stands at nearly 3.5 million.
“On your dime, in the middle of a pandemic, they’re selling beans,” said Cuomo, who recovered from covid-19 in the spring. “Are you kidding me? Seriously? Seriously?”
Cuomo’s criticism capped off a seventh day of backlash against the nation’s largest Hispanic-owned food company after chief executive Robert Unanue proclaimed “we’re all truly blessed” to have Trump as president at a White House event last week.
Trump, his children and White House officials have taken to social media to offer support for the brand. Earlier on Wednesday, the president tweeted Goya was “doing GREAT,” adding, “The Radical Left smear machine backfired, people are buying like crazy!” Donald Trump Jr. posted on Instagram late Wednesday to emphasize his dinner featured “a lot of Goya products.”
“I’m actually drinking my Goya Malta, supporting some people who have some guts in the culture war,” said Trump Jr., showing off the nonalcoholic malt beverage. “[I] like those that have guts, it’s sort of nice. Unfortunately, it’s lacking these days, but it’s okay. When we win, we’ll be able to enforce that a little bit better.”
As The Washington Post’s John Wagner reported, Ivanka Trump faced bipartisan criticism this week over the photo of her holding Goya beans — with the caption, “If it’s Goya, it has to be good” — with many claiming the photo was an ethics violation. Federal ethics laws prevent federal employees, such as Ivanka Trump, from using their positions “to endorse any product, service or enterprise.”
White House spokeswoman Carolina Hurley pushed back against Ivanka Trump’s critics in a statement to The Post on Wednesday morning.
“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,” Hurley said. “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.”
On CNN, Cuomo pinged the White House for anonymously disseminating a list of negative talking points about Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert. While the White House sought to distance itself from the USA Today op-ed written by trade adviser Peter Navarro that blasted Fauci, Cuomo said Trump needed to show greater action in his support of Fauci instead of shifting the blame toward states and health officials.
It’s also why Trump peddling for Goya goes far beyond identity politics, he said.
“This is not left and right; this is reasonable, my brothers and sisters,” Cuomo pleaded. “The guy is sitting on the Resolute desk with a bunch of Goya products.” He added, “Proof positive of why we need many Faucis, but we only have one. The idea of him messing with Fauci when he’s selling magic beans is crazy.”
On social media, Trump critics praised Cuomo’s commentary, with the Lincoln Project, a super PAC that has become a loud voice in the “Never Trump” resistance among Republicans, sharing the video.
“Chris Cuomo is all of us,” the group tweeted.