Goya CEO dismisses critics for praise of Trump: 'I'm not apologizing'

The chief executive of Goya Foods, Robert Unanue, brushed off critics on Friday, saying that he would not apologize for his previous statement that the U.S. is "blessed" to have President TrumpDonald John TrumpMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump camp considering White House South Lawn for convention speech: reports Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary MORE as a leader. 

In an interview on Fox News on Friday, Unanue pushed back against the backlash he received, telling the hosts of "Fox & Friends," "I'm not apologizing."

He added that criticism among celebrities and Democratic lawmakers was an attempt at "suppression of speech." 

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At the White House on Thursday, Unanue delivered what appeared to be praise of Trump, saying, "We're all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder." Unanue was among several Hispanic politicians and business leaders who gathered at the White House that day. 

Goya Foods, a nearly 85-year-old business, distributes thousands of products and Latin American staples such as garbanzo beans, seasonings and cooking oils. 

The company was founded by Don Prudencio Unanue and his wife, Carolina, who were immigrants from Spain and established Goya Foods in Manhattan in 1936. Robert is the grandson of the company's founders.

After Unanue's comments on Thursday, "Hamilton" star and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda dissed the grocery company, saying, "We learned to bake bread in this pandemic, we can learn to make our own adobo con pimienta. Bye."

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezLongtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary Trump campaign rolls out TV spots in early voting states after advertising pause Trump adviser Jason Miller: Biden running mate pick 'his political living will' MORE (D-N.Y.) shared a similar sentiment Thursday evening, tweeting, "Oh look, it's the sound of me Googling 'how to make your own Adobo.'" 

Goya is currently based in New Jersey and maintains 26 manufacturing and distribution facilities in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Spain, employing more than 4,000 people worldwide.

Federal Election Commission data shows Unanue donated $6,000 last year to Republican political groups.

However, some defenders of Goya noted it gave nearly 270,000 meals to food banks as part of a pandemic relief effort, according to NBC.