Friday Jan 13, 2017
NEW YORK: President-elect Donald Trump dived back into the world of business on Thursday by urging people to buy from a US retailer facing boycott calls because a board member donated to his campaign.
"Thank you Linda Bean of L.L.Bean for your great support and courage. People will support you even more now. Buy L.L.Bean," tweeted the Republican real estate tycoon, a week before he is sworn in as America´s 45th president.
The Grab Your Wallet campaign added L.L.Bean to a list of more than 70 companies whom it urges Americans to boycott for doing business with the Trump family or for carrying Trump products.
The Maine-based clothing company, a family firm founded in 1912 and a household name in the United States, called the boycott "misguided" but sought to distance itself from Linda Bean.
The company said she was one of more than 50 family members involved in the business and one of 10 members of the board. She donated money to Trump´s election efforts in a personal capacity.
"No individual alone speaks on behalf of the business or represents the values of the company," said executive chairman Shawn Gorman.
"L.L.Bean does not endorse political candidates, take positions on political matters, or make political contributions," he said in a statement.
"To be included in this boycott campaign is simply misguided and we respectfully request that Grab Your Wallet reverse its position," he added.
Bean, granddaughter of the company founder, told the Fox News television network that the boycott was a form of bullying and that it would be the employees who suffer.
"It´s bullying me, it´s bullying the companies that I own and bullying the one that I am partly am on, the L.L.Bean company," she said.
She complained against the "double standard" of a cousin four years ago donating to outgoing Democratic President Barack Obama without any backlash.
Democratic Congressman Jim Himes from Connecticut on Thursday reposted Trump´s tweet, adding that "for years" he had heard Republican friends "demand, demand, demand that government not pick winners and losers."
The United States remains sharply polarised after Trump´s shock victory in the November 8 election of Democrat Hillary Clinton, who lost the decisive electoral college vote but won the popular vote by three million ballots.