WASHINGTON — After residing in Washington for practically a yr, President Donald Trump has but to take pleasure in a single non-working meal at a restaurant that doesn’t pay him hire. He hasn’t taken in a efficiency on the Kennedy Middle; hasn’t been to a sporting occasion; hasn’t toured a lot of the sights.
It’s one of many peculiarities of the Trump presidency and one among an extended checklist of how by which he’s altering the workplace, in addition to its relationship with Washington.
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“I’d say that Trump has been the least current of any of the newest presidents,” mentioned Phil Mendelson, chairman of the Washington D.C. Metropolis Council and a Democratic member of the council since 1999.
It’s not simply eating places, says Mendelson. Trump has been much less engaged on the native charity circuit than different latest presidents, with no stops at native meals banks or to assist elementary faculty studying drives. First woman Melania Trump has been venturing out extra typically, showing with Jordan’s Queen Rania at a ladies’ constitution faculty, attending a vacation toy drive sponsored by the navy and visiting with sufferers and employees at Youngsters’s Nationwide hospital.
However the homebody president hardly ever goes out — and when he does it’s virtually at all times to properties that bear his identify.
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Trump has spent at the least a part of greater than 100 days of his presidency at properties he owns — taking winter weekends at his personal Mar-a-Lago membership in Florida and summer season weekends in Bedminster, New Jersey, or at his Virginia golf membership.
These weekends that he does spend in Washington, Trump has dined at only one restaurant: BLT Prime within the Trump Worldwide Resort, which opened final yr only a few blocks from the White Home. Trump’s visits have thrilled the vacationers who flock to the lodge, constructing buzz and incomes income. However most frequently, Trump, who is understood to want well-done steaks with ketchup to snootier fare, chooses to eat in.
“I really like the meals within the White Home. The White Home is the best restaurant, it’s probably the most stunning,” he instructed the Larry O’Connor radio present final month. “They do such an exquisite job.”
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Trump took workplace as arguably probably the most ready of latest presidents for the constraints of residing and dealing within the White Home and its Secret Service-enforced safety bubble, having spent a long time ensconced at Trump Tower in New York.
“The explanation my hair seems to be so neat on a regular basis is as a result of I don’t should cope with the weather. I reside within the constructing the place I work. I take an elevator from my bed room to my workplace. The remainder of the time, I’m both in my stretch limousine, my personal jet, my helicopter, or my personal membership in Palm Seaside Florida,” he as soon as wrote.
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Not a lot has modified — although the home, airplane and helicopter are actually taxpayer-paid.
Trump’s homebody methods mark a dramatic shift from his predecessor, who relished the renaissance within the D.C. eating scene. The Obamas embraced Washington, sampling its hottest eating places, from high-end to low forehead, and offering coveted buzz to eateries like superstar chef José Andrés’ small plates restaurant Oyamel Cocina Mexicana and Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack.
In the course of the 2014 authorities shutdown, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden made a run to Taylor Connoisseur sandwich store, which was providing reductions for presidency employees. And when it was time to sign an tried reset in relations with Russia, Obama handled Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to a burgers and fries at Ray’s Hell Burger in close by Arlington, Virginia.
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Even earlier than Obama’s inauguration, then-Mayor Adrian Fenty welcomed the soon-to-be president to the town with lunch on the well-known Ben’s Chili Bowl.
“It’s really tragic that the present administration hasn’t taken the time but to exit to the completely different eating places to see how vibrant and scrumptious the present eating scene in D.C. really is,” mentioned Nycci Safier Nellis, writer of TheListAreYouOnIt.com, which tracks the native meals scene.
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Obama additionally embraced the town in different methods, celebrating Small Enterprise Saturday, as an example, with a visit to Kramerbooks together with his daughters. Michelle Obama was typically noticed at SoulCycle.
The Trumps have stored a a lot decrease profile, with no recognized first woman buying journeys or presidential visits to son Barron’s soccer video games. Trump did go to the Smithsonian’s new black historical past museum final February throughout Black Historical past Month.
Trump just lately steered he may enterprise out of his consolation zone extra typically.
“In Washington you do have some nice eating places, and I’m going to begin going to ’em,” he mentioned within the radio interview final month. “I used to be accused the opposite day, nicely, after I depart the White Home, which is seldom, I at all times go to my lodge on Pennsylvania Avenue they usually say, ‘He ought to go to different locations.’ And I by no means considered it, and I’m going to begin doing that. I’m going to go round.”
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Jessica Sidman, meals editor at Washingtonian journal, mentioned Trump might face resistance in a various and overwhelmingly Democratic metropolis, the place he received simply four % of the vote.
“I’m positive there are locations that might welcome him, however I believe there are lots of locations that could be reluctant to serve him, despite the fact that eating places form of have this concept of hospitality and we welcome everybody,” she mentioned.
“It’s good to indicate respect to your neighborhood” by giving them enterprise, she mentioned, “however I’m simply unsure to what extent he’s welcome locally.”
Related Press author Ashraf Khalil contributed to this report.