Politics

Here's What Happened At Trump's Private Dinner

| by Sarah Zimmerman

President Donald Trump kept the press at arm's length for his first dinner out in Washington D.C. on Feb. 25, making the press pool that usually follows him around wait outside the restaurant while he ate.

The president surprised reporters when he suddenly left the White House without informing members of the press where he was going. 

"Motorcade rolled out from the WH grounds at 8:14 PM," the official report from the night read, according to the Independent Journal Review (IJR). "Destination unknown. POTUS has no public events on his schedule today."

The president was on his way to D.C.'s Trump Hotel in order to have a private dinner with his daughter Ivanka, her husband Jared Kushner, Republican Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, and former U.K. Independence Party Leader and face of the pro-Brexit movement Nigel Farage. 

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The motorcade arrived around 8:30 p.m. and Trump entered the restaurant without the standard pool of reporters. Members of the press were forced to wait in vans outside the restaurant and were not allowed to enter the building, according to The Hill.

IJR reporter Benny Johnson received a tip that Trump would be dining at the BLT Steakhouse inside his hotel that night and made sure to make reservations in order to document the night's events from afar.  

Johnson reports that the restaurant remained open to the public, despite a huge increase in security. Armed guards swept the restaurant an hour before Trump arrived. Guests were confused as trained security dogs patrolled the area.

Finally, without warning, Trump entered the restaurant causing a commotion.

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Trump greeted members of the public before sitting down with his party. According to the waiter who served the group, Trump ordered a well-done steak with ketchup and three jumbo strip cocktails.

"At one point, the president looked at his watch and remarked 'They are filming 'Saturday Night Live' right now. Can't wait to see what they are gonna do to me this week,'" the waiter recalled. "It was hard to serve him because he is so funny and relaxed, it makes you laugh."

For the next two hours the president enjoyed his meal in relative peace, jovially conversing with the members of his party. As he left, he stopped to take selfies with excited patrons and discreetly handed the busboy a $100 tip.

After Trump left the building, Johnson approached Farage, who was wandering the lobby. When asked what Trump and the group were discussing, Farage winked and said "it was nothing interesting."

"You know what amazes me about your president?" Farage continued. "He is a regular bloke. Truly. Just a normal chap. Upstairs at dinner, he spoke to the table like any regular guy out to dine with friends and family. There is no pretension at all." 

Sources: The Hill, Independent Journal Review / Photo Credit: Benny Johnson/Twitter

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