Linda Bean, the granddaughter and co-owner of L.L. Bean, on Thursday said U.S. businesses are under attack and being bullied by anti-Trump groups.
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A group, Grabyourwallet.org, called for a boycott of L.L. Bean after Linda Bean, one of 50 family members that own the outdoor apparel maker, contributed $60,000 to a political action committee supporting President-elect Donald Trump. The Federal Election Commission said the donation exceeded the PAC’s individual donor limit of $5,000.
“It’s bullying,” Bean told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo. “They want to control how we spend our money, what we buy, where we buy it. That’s wrong, it’s un-American.”
Shortly after her appearance on Fox Business, Trump tweeted a thank you to Linda Bean and urged customers to buy L.L. Bean.
Thank you to Linda Bean of L.L.Bean for your great support and courage. People will support you even more now. Buy L.L.Bean. @LBPerfectMaine— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2017
Grabyourwallet.org is calling for boycotts on 38 stores – including Walmart, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s – that carry Trump products, are supportive of Trump, are owned by Trump or are “normalizing Trump.”
“I gave the donation personally to a pact to support Trump,” she said. “We should have that privilege. We live in America. It’s a free country.”
The group added L.L. Bean to its boycott list last Friday. Two days later, L.L. Bean Executive Chairman Shawn Gorman blasted the group and urged it to reverse its position.
“We were disappointed to learn that Grab Your Wallet is advocating a boycott against L.L. Bean solely because Linda Bean, who is only one of 50-plus family members involved with the business, personally supported Donald Trump for President,” he said on Facebook.
The group later said it would only remove L.L. Bean from the boycott list if the company cut its ties with Linda Bean.
Linda Bean, however, told Fox Business that she has no plans to resign from the board. She noted that the company has seen a “slight uptick” in business following the Trump controversy.