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Goya Foods CEO falsely says election was illegitimate, Trump is ‘the real, the legitimate, and the still actual president’

Washington (CNN)The chief executive officer of Goya Foods, Robert Unanue, made a series of false claims about the 2020 election at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday — a little more than a month after the company board took action to limit his polarizing public political remarks.

In 2020, Unanue’s compliments of then-President Donald Trump generated controversy and calls for a boycott of Goya, which markets itself as “the premier source for authentic Latino cuisine.”

After Unanue questioned the legitimacy of the election in a Fox Business interview in January 2021, Goya’s board voted to prevent Unanue from speaking to the media without board permission, according to a source familiar with the board’s action.

On Sunday, though, Unanue appeared on the CPAC stage in Orlando and said: “It’s just an honor to be here. But my biggest honor today is gonna be that — I think we’re gonna be on the same stage — as, in my opinion, the real, the legitimate, and the still actual president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.”

Trump is not the real, legitimate, or actual president anymore. That would be Joe Biden, who legitimately defeated Trump in November.

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Unanue said at CPAC: “But we still have faith that the majority of the people of the United States voted for the president.” He added soon after, “I think a great majority of the people in the United States voted for President Trump, and even a few Democrats.”

Biden, not Trump, won a majority of votes in the 2020 election. Biden received 51.3% of the vote, Trump 46.8% — with Biden earning over seven million more votes than Trump did.

Unanue also said at CPAC that “not only the presidential election” but “the Georgia election” was “not legitimate.”

The presidential election in general, the presidential election in Georgia in particular, and the January runoff elections for two Georgia Senate seats were all legitimate.

Unanue also made vague insinuations at CPAC about voter fraud involving mail-in ballots, saying that he received “unsolicited ballots” and that, “as a citizen of the United States, I think I’m allowed to vote once, once — not twice, or three times, or 10 times.”

There is no evidence that anyone voted three times or more in the 2020 election — and certainly no evidence that such a thing happened often enough to affect the outcome.

There have been scattered allegations of people voting twice, so it is possible that this happened in this election, but there is no indication it happened at a large scale. (“Unsolicited” mail-in ballots, the ones sent to all eligible registered voters in a state without requiring a specific request from each voter, contain security measures to prevent fraud.)

Goya Foods did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday afternoon. It was not clear if Unanue’s comments at CPAC violated the board’s January directive limiting his political remarks; CNN and other outlets reported that the board had required Unanue to get approval before making media appearances, but his Sunday remarks came in a speech rather than an interview.

After the board’s action, the New York Post reported that Unanue had said, “Independently, I’ve made the decision to lower the temperature and walk away from speaking about politics and religion.” But the Post said that Unanue had not completely closed the door on political remarks, having added: “I don’t believe I should speak politically or in a faith-based manner on behalf of the company. But I leave open the possibility of speaking on behalf of myself.”

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