Sep 21, 2018

Trump's restaurant woes

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., won't be allowed to campaign for Republican candidate Matt Rosendale at a restaurant in Montana, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: This isn't the first restaurant-related controversy to hit someone close to President Trump — it isn't even the first restaurant to refuse service to someone in his close circle.

Trump's restaurant controversies
  • Sixteen, a restaurant in Chicago's Trump International Hotel & Tower, closed in 2017 when business began dropping after Trump started his campaign for presidency.
  • A Japanese restaurant, Koi, located in Trump SoHo, also closed because of declining business due to Trump's political rise.
  • Trump settled lawsuits with two celebrity chefs, José Andrés and Geoffrey Zakarian, after they left restaurants in Trump hotels because of comments he made regarding immigrants.
  • Owners of a wine bar in the D.C. Trump hotel, Cork Wine Bar, filed an unfair competition lawsuit against Trump and the hotel itself, saying they were "missing out on business from government officials, lobbyists, foreign dignitaries, and others...because that clientele now feels pressure to instead spend money at the Trump hotel."

As for those close to him...

  • Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant when dining with her family.
  • Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was heckled at a Mexican restaurant in D.C. over the child separation policy.
  • Stephen Miller, senior adviser to Trump, was called a "real-life fascist" at a D.C. restaurant.
  • Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle won't be allowed to campaign at Midtown Tavern in Bozeman, Montana. Owner Jeff Wilcox said: "That's just not who we are. ... We just try to stay politically neutral." Wilcox didn't attribute the cancellation to the Trump administration.

Trump supporters have also faced pushback by establishments, which experts say is mostly legal.

Go deeper

Trump's clemency spree

Rod Blagojevich in 2010. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

President Trump announced Tuesday that he commuted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's 14-year prison sentence for extortion, bribery and corruption — as well as issuing full pardons for former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik and financier Michael Milken.

The big picture: The president's clemency spree largely benefitted white-collar criminals convicted of crimes like corruption, gambling fraud and racketeering, undercutting his message of "draining the swamp."

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Trump's improbable moonshot

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NASA is unlikely to meet its deadline of sending astronauts to the surface of the Moon by 2024, even with a large influx of funding.

Why it matters: The Artemis mission to send people back to the Moon is the Trump administration's flagship space policy, and its aggressive, politically-motivated timeline is its hallmark.

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Justice Department says U.S. attorneys are reviewing Ukraine information

Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) Tuesday informing him that the U.S. attorneys for the Eastern District of New York and the Western District of Pennsylvania are reviewing "unsolicited" information from the public related to matters involving Ukraine.

Why it matters: Nadler had requested an explanation for the "intake process" that Attorney General Bill Barr stated had been set up in order to receive information that Rudy Giuliani had obtained about the Bidens in Ukraine.