Behind the scenes with the Trump Bunch during Donald Trump’s reign of four years was unlike anything his employees had ever seen before. But royalty has its perks. In this administration, the people who worked at his hotels played their parts in the Donald Trump Presidential Show.
It all started with the star’s table, according to The Washingtonian:
‘Everyone knew Table 72 belonged to the President. The round booth in the middle of the Trump Hotel’s mezzanine was impossible to miss…No one sat at Trump’s table except the President, his children, and, occasionally, an approved member of his inner circle like Rudy Giuliani or Mike Pence.’
There was a Standard Operating Procedure document on what to do and what to say when Trump came to the restaurant:
‘As soon as Trump was seated, the server had to “discreetly present” a mini bottle of Purell hand sanitizer. (This applied long before Covid, mind you.) Next, cue dialogue: “Good (time of day) Mr. President. Would you like your Diet Coke with or without ice?” the server was instructed to recite.
‘A polished tray with chilled bottles and highball glasses was already prepared for either response. Directions for pouring the soda were detailed …seven steps long—and illustrated with four photo exhibits…opened in front of the germophobe commander in chief, “never beforehand.”’
The president always had a “shrimp cocktail, well-done steak, and fries.” Sometimes apple pie or chocolate cake. Rolls were served within “two minutes” and shrimp was served “immediately:”
‘Open new mini glass bottles of Heinz ketchup in front of Trump, taking care to ensure he could hear the seal make the “pop” sound.’
The Forbes magazine wrote about Trump’s preference for ketchup:
‘At the center of this Presidency is a profound mystery as to why Donald Trump acts the way that he does. His affinity for ketchup on steak is relatively benign, even though some commentators have suggested that it typifies a childlike immaturity.’
And yes there were complaints, The Washingtonian indicated, such as:
‘[T]he President questioned why his dining companion had a bigger steak…It was the same steak. Both well done. Maybe it was a half-ounce bigger.
‘The chef had always prepared a bone-in rib eye or filet mignon for Trump. After Steakgate, he switched to a 40-ounce tomahawk. Trump would never again gripe that he didn’t have the greatest, hugest, most beautiful steak.’
The staff was to treat right-wing operatives like celebrities:
‘[P]olitical power determined the seating chart. If you weren’t in the business of Making America Great Again, well, sweetheart, you quickly learned to fake it.’
Former Executive Chef Shawn Matijevich said:
‘Senators and cabinet members and all of their staffs and the President’s staff, important members of the Republican Party, megachurch pastors, MyPillow guy. He was a VIP, absolutely. The hotel would print us a book every day, if they were staying at the hotel, and it would have their pictures and their name and their job title.’
When one manager who did not recognize Hope Hicks in the early days took too long with her order:
‘She pulled the don’t-you-know-who-I-am card, letting the general manager know she was in fact Hope Hicks—you know, from the White House. The manager, who no longer works there, remembers apologizing profusely—then sending out a “dessert storm,” including a crepe soufflé and a cheesecake lollipop tree.’
He was still fired. But Rudy Giuliani was the worst. He had a regular table downstairs. Chef Bill Williamson said:
‘It was pretty much his office. He was doing more paperwork there than eating. Some days, he’d be there all day.’
A black-and-gold plaque reading RUDOLPH W. GIULIANI PRIVATE OFFICE rested on it. The chef said:
‘He was constantly in the restaurant. And I complained about it. The guy would come in, expect a table for ten at a moment’s notice at, like, 2 pm, when we’re not fully functioning. We don’t have the staff. But he’s the President’s lawyer, and what am I supposed to do?’
Interestingly enough, the Trump offspring were “fairly low-key.” Then there was Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL):
‘Regulars such as Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz… were always around the lobby taking selfies with fans.’
Employees were paid well with generous health benefits, but sucking up was a requirement. One former manager recalled when she was given her introductory tour, her guide was:
‘praising Trump for being “so good to the people” and “such a kind soul.” I looked at them and was like, ‘You know what? You’re absolutely right,”And inside I was dying.’
Looks were all-important:
‘[There were] Quarter-inch limit on men’s facial hair and the three-eighths-of-an-inch max on women’s fingernail length… [T]here was an unspoken rule for [women’s] attire: only dresses or skirts.’
As a former female manager puts it:
‘I always tried to dress like a Fox News anchor.’
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.