As you may imagine, going for a regular dinner out at a restaurant isn’t such a regular thing once you become the president. And things get especially odd when said president is Donald Trump. Trump has been in an ongoing battle with the media lately, picking and choosing which publications are permitted access to certain events and railing against the “main stream (fake news) media” on Twitter. So as you may imagine, there was limited media coverage of this particular outing.
One journalist, Benny Johnson of the Independent Journal Review, took it upon himself to be proactive in his coverage of the president. On a day when Trump had no scheduled public events, Johnson received a tip that he’d be dining at the steakhouse inside his D.C. Trump Hotel that evening. Johnson did what any good journalist would do—he reserved a table right next to the president’s. You can read Benny’s entire running diary of the event here.
The evening started with round upon round of security checks. First, restaurant staff continuously checked the table. Then building managers and other staff, now with ear-pieces, started snooping around. Finally, armed guards with weapon-sniffing dogs came around to verify the safety of the table. Once the table was verified and secured 300 or so times and extra seats were added in a panic at the last second, Donald showed up.
He was greeted by rows of adoring fans wanting handshakes and photos. In typical celebrity fashion, President Trump did his best to shmooze with the people before taking his seat at his table. He was joined by Governor Rick Scott of Florida, his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, and Brexit enthusiast Nigel Farage.
At Trump hotel. Secret Service swarms the place. Trump walks in, sits down next to me w/ Gov. Rick Scott, Nigel Farage, Ivanka & Kuchner pic.twitter.com/5ZgTUixvwR— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 26, 2017
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his wife were in attendance as well, although they were doing their own thing at their own table.
Now here’s where things really fly off the rails: According to a waiter who asked to remain anonymous, “The President ordered a well-done steak. An aged New York strip. He ate it with catsup as he always does. The sides and appetizers on the table were shared. Three jumbo shrimp cocktails were delivered before the meal.” Are you kidding me? Donald Trump eats his steak well done with ketchup?? That should be grounds for impeachment.
After the meal, the President could be seen slipping a $100 bill to the wait staff. Finally, our brave journalist got a chance to ask him one quick question:
I asked Trump if he would be attending the White House Correspondents Dinner.— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 26, 2017
He said: “No. Do you like that?”
People cheered behind me. pic.twitter.com/5uc6kAM0FI