DC Paper Wrings Hands Over What It Calls 'Secret' Trump Dinner Habit


The Washington Examiner is usually known as a rather level-headed conservative-leaning periodical, not necessarily the type to buy into every latest piece of Trump-related gossip the way the likes of Vox might.

That kind of restraint doesn’t include how the Examiner covers the president’s eating habits, however, particularly if it’s on the golf course.

“President Trump knows best, especially if it’s at Trump-branded restaurants,” a Saturday article in the Washington Secrets section of the Examiner reads.

“Associates say that when he and his guests sit down at a Trump restaurant, he likes to order for everybody.

“He tells waiters, ‘No menus. I know what we want.’ For example at golf outings, he likes to order a mess of eggs, bacon and breads for his guests, and before playing the ninth hole, it’s hot dogs for all.”

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And here was the picture the paper included with the article:

How flattering.

Where to begin? Well, despite the fact that this bit of gossip appeared in the Washington Secrets column, it’s not exactly a secret.

Do you consider the story from the Washington Examiner to be newsworthy?

During an interview last year, then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, an off-and-on Trump supporter and former primary adversary, revealed Trump had ordered for him during a meal at the White House.

CBS News reported that Christie said “that Mr. Trump pointed out the menu and told people to get whatever they want. Then he said he and Christie were going to have the meatloaf.”

“This is what it’s like to be with Trump,” Christie said during the interview. “He says, ‘There’s the menu, you guys order whatever you want.’ And then he says, ‘Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.’”

“’I’m telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous’” Christie quoted Trump as saying.

The president isn’t a man of few quirks, and I suppose this is one of them. What, so he thinks he knows what other people would like to eat at a restaurant or an event? He wouldn’t be the first person. And he’s usually the one paying for it, after all.

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This wouldn’t be so troubling if it were the first time a serious examination of the president’s eating habits passed for journalism, whether it be blurbed in the Washington Examiner or occupying a few hundred words at GQ, which criticized the president for eating well-done steaks and fast food.

In a vulgarity-strewn August 2017 piece, Joshua David Stein wrote that “Donald J. Trump has proven himself not just the least competent commander-in-chief but the worst eater in the West Wing since Gerry Ford’s famous tamale incident of 1976.

“The man has the tastes of a pile of crumpled-up Kleenex,” Stein lamented. “Like so much of Trumpworld’s absurdity, his eating habits are almost cartoonishly metaphorical.” Only if you’re on a tight deadline and don’t have a whole lot of good ideas, though.

I suppose there are times when presidential food and drink habits are examined by the press; Barack Obama’s choice of beer was always a matter of speculation for writers who apparently didn’t find a whole lot else to speculate about, as were Bill Clinton’s McDonald’s stops.

The fact these things passed as journalism wasn’t evidence that they were news so much as evidence the media sometimes cares about profoundly inconsequential presidential minutiae.

That care has turned malevolent during the Trump administration, as every gustatory choice the president makes is somehow more evidence of his debasement and perfidy.

Yes, if I was with the president and eating, I’d prefer to have a choice. That being said, I’m also not footing the bill. Why would I — or anyone else — care all that much?

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture