2021-02-20 00:41:05 UTC
staff as they lift the lid on life serving the MAGA elite
*President Donald Trump needed his diet coke opened up before his eyes when
dining at his D.C. hotel
*Staff had a step-by-step binder of instructions on how to serve Trump
*He needed hand sanitzer when he sat down, a diet coke and shrimp appetizer
right away, ate steak and fries for dinner with a double helping of Popovers
*Melania was also picky: she once sent back her sole because it had garnish
*Trump hotel staff reveal what it was like serving on Trump family when they
came to the DC hotel in interviews with Washingtonian magazine
*Trump kids praised as low-key and polite
*Only thing said of Ivanka is she once wore yoga pants and drank a margarita
President Donald Trump needed his diet coke opened up before his eyes when
dining at his D.C. hotel while first lady Melania Trump would send back her
dinner if it had garnishes on it.
The details about the needs of the former first couple and their A-list
Republican friends appears in a new article in Washingtonian magazine, which
spoke to former staff at the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. about
what happened when the president came to dinner.
Trump rarely went out anywhere in the nation's Capitol except his namesake
hotel, which sat about five blocks from the White House.
And he always sat at Table 72 - a round booth in the middle of the Trump Hotel's
mezzanine, which was in the center of the action and impossible to miss.
The table was always waiting on the president even if that meant it sat empty
night after night should Trump not appear.
A 'Standard Operating Procedure' document, obtained by Washingtonian, outlined
step by step what should happen when Trump dined at BLT Prime, the hotel's
Trump's requirements, as outlined by the magazine:
*As soon as Trump was seated, the server was to 'discreetly present' a mini
bottle of Purell hand sanitizer - even pre-COVID. Trump is a known germaphobe.
*Then, the server had to say: 'Good (time of day) Mr. President. Would you like
your Diet Coke with or without ice?'
*The details on pouring the soda were seven steps long and illustrated with four
*The diet coke had to be opened in front of Trump and 'never beforehand.'
*The server was to hold a longneck-bottle opener by the lower third of the
handle in one hand and the Diet Coke, also by the lower third, in the other.
*The drink was to be placed at Trump's right-hand side: 'Repeat until POTUS
*Trump always had the same thing to eat: shrimp cocktail, well-done steak, and
fries (plus sometimes apple pie or chocolate cake for dessert).
*Popovers - a double serving - had to be served within two minutes and the
*The server had to open mini glass bottles of Heinz ketchup in front of Trump,
taking care to ensure he could hear the seal make the 'pop' sound.
*Additionally, a tray of junk food needed to be available for every Trump visit.
*It was to contain: Lay's potato chips (specifically, sour cream and onion),
Milky Way, Snickers, Nature Valley Granola Bars, Tic Tacs, gummy bears, Chips
Ahoy, Oreos, Nutter Butters, Tootsie Rolls, chocolate-covered raisins, and
Melania Trump also had her quirks, such as no garnishes. She once sent back a
Dover sole because it was dressed with parsley and chives.
Trump wouldn't sent back his food but once complained when a dining companion
had a bigger steak than he did. The restaurant ordered super-sized shrimp and a
40-ounce tomahawk for the then-president.
And he was a heavy consumer of diet coke, drinking multiple glasses a day. He
had a special button on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office that he could press
when he needed more soda.
During the Trump administration, his hotel in downtown D.C. was the place to see
and be seen for Republicans stars and MAGA fans.
Trump made $40.8 million in 2018 alone from his Washington property. The family
faced criticism it was violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution by
running the hotel while Trump sat in the Oval Office. The Trump Organization was
trying to sell it in the final years of Trump's presidency but many thought its
$500 million price tag was overinflated.
Lobbyists drank at the bar, Trump friends and family stayed there when in town,
the Republican Party held fundraisers in its ballrooms, and journalists met with
sources for an overpriced drink.
And hotel staff were prepared for anyone bold-faced GOP name that may come their
'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,' former executive chef Shawn Matijevich told
Washingtonian. '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
And some Trump White House staff demanded to be treated like stars.
On one occasion, when the kitchen took forever with Hope Hicks's order, she told
the staff: don't-you-know-who-I-am. The manager apologized profusely and then
sent out a 'dessert storm,' including a crepe soufflé and a cheesecake lollipop
But the most notorious VIP was Rudy Giuliani, Trump's private attorney who would
camp out all day at a booth on the lower level of the restaurant. He did more
work than eating so the staff made up a name plate that read 'RUDOLPH W.
GIULIANI PRIVATE OFFICE' that they would place on it when he was there.
'The biggest pain in my butt was Giuliani,' a former manager at the hotel told
In contrast, the Trump children were described as low-key and polite.
Former staff said the only salacious thing they could remember about Ivanka, who
designed the hotel's signature spa, was she once showed up in yoga pants and
indulged in a single margarita.
'They just came in, did their thing, and left,' said former assistant general
manager Alyssa O'Clock of the Trump kids. 'Ivanka would sit with her back to the
rest of the dining room. She didn't really want to be seen there, necessarily.'
Tiffany also made occasional appearances when she attended Georgetown Law School
but more often than not she would make reservations and then not show up.