Updated January 12 at 9:50 a.m.
On Thursday morning, President-elect Donald Trump tweeted out a cryptic note of solidarity with L.L. Bean, the high-end, Maine-based retailer.
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
Trump was referencing a furor that had ignited after reports from the Associated Press last week revealed that Linda Bean, the granddaughter of the company’s founder and one of L.L. Bean’s 10 board members, made a $60,000 donation to a pro-Trump PAC that had far exceeded the legal limit.
The company had come under fire, not because of the size of the contribution, but the fact that she had given to Trump at all. The story quickly caught the attention of #GrabYourWallet, a social-media hashtag-turned-political-consumer-watchdog movement, which urges American shoppers against patronizing companies with business or political links to President-elect Donald Trump. Linda Bean’s donation had placed the company in the #GrabYourWallet crosshairs and its acolytes took to excoriating the company across Twitter and Facebook.
The phrase #GrabYourWallet was chosen back in October as a not-too-subtle reference to the now-infamous leaked Access Hollywood tapes, which featured Trump and Billy Bush engaged in violent and misogynistic banter about grabbing women’s genitalia in 2005. “I was looking for a way to be effective in my response to the Trump tapes,” said Shannon Coulter, a San Francisco-based marketing strategist and co-creator of the initiative. “I was musing about it one night after some online shopping at Nordstrom and saying, ‘I kind of feel ambivalent about the fact that Nordstrom—this company that I love—carries Trump products and does business with the Trump family.”