PHOTOS: TRUMP DINNER AT BLT STEAKHOUSE INSIDE TRUMP HOTEL IN D.C. – GAVE BUSBOY $100 TIP, POST PIC WITH WOMAN CELEBRATING HER BIRTHDAY
( IJR ) The president was heading to his new flagship property in D.C., the Trump Hotel, for a private dinner at the BLT Steakhouse inside. Once the president arrived at the location, the reporter who was on assignment to cover him, Jordan Fabian of The Hill, was not let into the building and had to wait in the van outside for the remainder of the dinner, without a guest list or details of what was happening inside.
Inside the restaurant, I was seated at a table which I had booked hours earlier, directly next to where Trump would be dining. I made the booking based on a tip from a trusted source. I was ready to tell the story no one else would get to see and was personally fascinated to observe how a restaurant prepares for a president — and how Trump interacts when he believes no press are present.
The night was a wild one. Here is what happens when President Trump goes to dinner.
8:17 PM: Without any announcement or indication, President Trump enters the hotel lobby which bears his name, flanked on all sides by the Secret Service. Shock and astonishment fill the guests in the room. The woman next to me screams “Is it him? It’s really him! Oh my God! This is like a dream!” Trump is rushed by fans in the lobby as he makes his way to the steakhouse. Secret Service makes a barrier for him, and the President waves and shakes hands on his way. The young crew are the first in line. Also waiting in line as the President arrives is Nigel Farage.
One woman shouts at him “Donald, it’s my birthday!” Trump stops and says “Happy birthday,” as he hugs the elated woman. “How about a birthday present? Let’s take a photo,” he says to her, afterward telling the woman she looks very young and has great skin.
Trump eventually sits precisely where I expected he would hours earlier. He is joined by Farage, Governor Rick Scott of Florida, and his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner. My party sits just a table away, outside the president’s security barrier. Trump’s table is surrounded by agents facing outward, creating a barrier between the president and other diners. Waiters can be seen carrying large jumbo shrimp and sparkling water to the table to start the service. We are eventually, but politely, asked to sit back down at our respective tables.
8:45 PM: Trump is served his entree. According to a waiter, who wished 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. 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.“ It was hard to serve him because he is so funny and relaxed, it makes you laugh.”