Trump Endorses L.L. Bean After Board Member Supports HimBy and
‘Buy L.L. Bean,’ president-elect says in tweet on Thursday
Anti-Trump group Grab Your Wallet has called for boycott
President-elect Donald Trump urged people to buy products from L.L. Bean after the founder’s granddaughter sparked controversy by donating to a political action committee that supported his campaign.
Linda Bean, who serves on L.L. Bean’s board and owns a stake in the 105-year-old company, had contributed $60,000 to the Making America Great Again LLC, according to the Federal Election Commission. That led the anti-Trump group Grab Your Wallet to call for a boycott of L.L. Bean.
“Thank you to Linda Bean of L.L. Bean for your great support and courage,” Trump said on Twitter Thursday. “People will support you even more now. Buy L.L. Bean.”
L.L. Bean has tried to distance itself from the controversy, with Executive Chairman Shawn Gorman saying this week on Facebook that he was “deeply troubled” about the company being depicted as choosing sides in politics. The Freeport, Maine-based catalog seller has more than 50 family members with a stake in the business.
“L.L.Bean does not endorse political candidates, take positions on political matters or make political contributions,” Gorman said.
Before Trump’s tweet on Thursday, Linda Bean appeared on Fox News and complained about the boycott threat.
“They’re bullies, that’s all they are,” she said, referring to Grab Your Wallet as a “small kernel of hardcore bullies out on the West Coast in California trying to control what we do, what we buy, what we sell in Maine.”
Bean also responded to calls for her to resign from L.L. Bean’s board, saying she would “absolutely not” step down. The donation was a personal choice unrelated to the company, she said.
L.L. Bean, founded by Leon Leonwood Bean in 1912, didn’t respond to requests seeking comment on Thursday.
— With assistance by Kim Bhasin