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Why everyone is furious at President Trump for posing with a can of beans.

Could it be? Could US President Donald Trump be not entirely confident about his chances in the November election?

I mean, he seems to be dipping his presumably very big — huge! — toe into other occupational waters... by moonlighting as a social media influencer.

Rather than take the predictable route of teeth whitening or fake tan, the President surprised his 21 million Instagram followers this week by endorsing a range of packaged food, right from the Oval Office. 

See the picture above. A big smile and enthusiastic thumbs-up behind a row of Goya-brand goods. 

There were some biscuits, coconut milk, a tin of beans, each lined up carefully along the Resolute Desk, a 140-year-old piece of furniture behind which Richard Nixon sat as he spoke to astronauts on the Apollo 11, and J.F.K. interrupted programing to tell his fellow Americans that schools were being desegregated, and Barack Obama announced an end to the conflict in Iraq.

But hey, those chocolate wafers do look delicious.

So why is the leader of the free world posing with a bunch of groceries? And why do people seem to care?

Start from the beginning...

This whole saga started last week when Robert Unanue, the CEO of major company Goya Foods visited the White House and declared, "we’re all truly blessed... to have a leader like President Trump". 

The president's critics revolted, urging consumers to boycott the brand. 

Enter President Trump's daughter/White House advisor/apparent wannabe brand ambassador, Ivanka.

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As Vanity Fair so poignantly put it, "Ivanka Trump steps up to the cancel-culture barricades, holding a can of beans".

Naturally, the nighttime talk-show hosts had a field day.

This from Late Night's Seth Meyers: "Look at that. That’s the closest she’s ever gotten to working. You just know she’s sore today."

And from Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show: "I’m not sure if Ivanka is trying to promote Goya or [if] she’s auditioning to be a model on The Price is Right."

Ever the supportive father, President Trump backed up with his own post.


By then, the late-night scripts were basically writing themselves.

"I mean, I’m glad the president is using his desk for probably the first time in months, but come on guys—you gotta admit, this is pretty embarrassing," The Daily Show's Trevor Noah proffered. "The dude doesn’t look like a president; he looks like a local athlete who retired 15 years ago and is desperate for money."

As well as being, yes, pretty embarrassing, the posts also appear to be a breach of White House ethics.

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It's right there under the US Department of Justice's Misuse of Position and Government Resources guidelines:

"An employee’s position or title should not be used to coerce; to endorse any product, service or enterprise; or to give the appearance of governmental sanction."

Whoops.

Cue angry tweets and media commentary pointing out the violation.

"This one’s got everything: the Trump family, using official office to promote a private business, rewarding political allies with business help from the White House," Noah Bookbinder, the executive director of the watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, tweeted. "So much corruption in one post, and likely a violation of ethics rules."

The president didn't seem bothered, though.

And fair enough.

As far as abuses of power goes, slinging beans on Instagram is pretty low down the list. 

Particularly, when compared to, say, threatening to deny funding to school districts that refuse to reopen in the middle of a lethal pandemic. 

Or, I don't know, withholding security aid from Ukraine to pressure them into investigating his political opponent Joe Biden. 

I mean, he got away with that one during the whole impeachment kerfuffle, so why not plug some choccy biccies?

Can't you just hear the Instagram Story?

"People often ask me how I get my blood sugar so high — the highest. Well, let me share my secret..."

Feature image: Instagram.

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