Trump wades in on flap over L.L. Bean boycott threats


BOSTON Donald Trump on Thursday tweeted his support of Maine catalog retailer L.L. Bean after an activist group opposed to the U.S. president-elect called for a boycott of the company.

The boycott call began online last week after reports that a member of the Bean family that owns the company, best known for its rubber-bottomed hunting boots, had donated money to Trump’s candidacy.

“Thank you to Linda Bean of L.L. Bean for your great support and courage,” Trump said in a tweet early Thursday. “People will support you even more now. Buy L.L. Bean.”

The “Grab Your Wallet” website added the Freeport, Maine-based company to a lengthy list of retailers it urges Trump opponents to boycott because of their ties to the former reality television star, who will be sworn in on Jan. 20.

L.L. Bean scrambled to distance itself from Linda Bean’s donations, noting that she was just one of more than 50 members of the founding family associated with the 105-year-old company, which described itself as politically neutral.

“Our owners, employees, and customers hold views and embrace causes that are individual and diverse,” it said in a statement late Sunday. “We fully acknowledge and respect that some may disagree with the political views of a single member of our 10-person board of directors.”

A spokeswoman for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

The president-elect’s tweet drew a swarm of responses from supporters and opponents on Thursday, some of whom vowed to boycott the company, others who said they planned to buy its merchandise in a show of solidarity.

Trump has taken on several prominent U.S. companies, including United Technologies Corp’s (UTX.N) Carrier air conditioning unit and General Motors Co (GM.N) to berate them for manufacturing products outside the United States.

His track record of pouncing on high-profile executives has left the leaders of corporate America wary of waking up one morning to find themselves Trump’s latest target.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)


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