Tuesday, January 15, 2019


There's an awkward Donald Trump food anecdote in Chris Christie's forthcoming book, as reported by The Guardian:
At [Christie's] first meeting with Trump in 2002, at a dinner in the Trump International Hotel and Tower, in New York, Trump ordered his food for him. He chose scallops, to which Christie is allergic, and lamb which he has always detested. Christie recalls wondering whether Trump took him to be “one of his chicks”.
That's certainly how Trump's father treated women. Here's a story The New York Times ran in 2016:
The elder Mr. Trump exerted control no matter how big or small the decision, as Ivana Zelnickova learned over dinner one night in the late 1970s. Her boyfriend, Donald Trump, had invited her to join his siblings and parents at Tavern on the Green, the ornate restaurant in Central Park.

When the waiter came to take orders, Ivana made the mistake of asking for what she wanted. Fred Trump set her straight, she recalled in a previously unpublished interview with Michael D’Antonio, the author of “The Truth About Trump.”
Fred would order steak. Then Donald would order steak. ... Everybody order steak. I told the waiter, “I would like to have fish.” O.K., so I could have the fish. And Fred would say to the waiter: “No, Ivana is not going to have a fish. She is going to have a steak.” I said, “No, I’m going to have my fish.” And Donald would come home and say, “Ivana, why would you have a fish instead of a steak?” I say, “Because I’m not going to be told by somebody to have something which I don’t want.”

–Ivana Trump, ex-wife
Mr. Trump defended his father’s conduct. “He would’ve said that out of love,” he said. If his father had overruled her fish order, Mr. Trump said, “he would have said that only on the basis that he thought, ‘That would be better for her.’”
Trump continued to treat Christie this way after he became president. Here's Christie on the radio in 2017 recounting his first White House meal:
... during a guest hosting stint on WFAN's Boomer and Carton, the governor dished on what they serve at the White House.

"He says, 'There's the menu, you guys order whatever you want,' Christie said. "And then he says, 'Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'"
And, of course, there was this report, from The New Yorker in 2016:
Governor Chris Christie ... has transformed himself into a sort of manservant, who is constantly with Trump at events. (One Republican told me that a friend of his on the Trump campaign used Snapchat to send him a video of Christie fetching Trump’s McDonald’s order.)
It occurs to me that even a former opponent Trump wanted to humiliate, Mitt Romney, wasn't treated this poorly. At that famous post-election dinner arranged by Trump ostensibly to discuss the job of secretary of state (which Trump then gave to Rex Tillerson), Romney got to pick his own entrée:

And there's no way frogs' legs would have been ordered if Trump had done all the ordering. Trump may have ultimately owned Romney, but Mitt held his own at the table better than Christie ever did.

Which brings us to #BurgerGhazi -- Trump's decision to serve rapidly cooling fast food to the college football champions from Clemson at the White House last night. We know that Trump loves fast food, yet I suspect he has trouble imposing this preference on prominent people in his administration, many of whom, I'm sure, have strong egos. The shutdown gave Trump an excuse to treat the team members like "his chicks" by ordering them what he likes to eat. They're probably the most significant people he's been able to treat that way in a while.

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