- The former Trump hotel in DC, now the Waldorf Astoria, has become a popular meeting spot for top Democrats.
- The hotel was once a regular haunt for some of Trump’s most trusted friends and advisors.
- Chef José Andrés, who sparred with Trump during his first campaign, has opened a restaurant at the property.
After Donald Trump was elected to the presidency in 2016, the Trump International Hotel at the Old Post Office Building in Washington became the place to be for the GOP elite who backed the New York businessman and his “Make America Great Again” movement.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was a frequent presence, and onetime Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin even lived in the hotel for several months in 2017 before moving into a permanent residence.
But after the former president left the White House in 2021 he sold the leasing rights to the hotel, which was rebranded and is now the Waldorf Astoria Washington DC. With Trump’s name no longer attached to the property, Republicans abandoned the hotel.
And instead of top GOP figures and Republican sightseers drinking at the bar or taking in the Trump-styled menu, the hotel has become a magnet for top Democratic leaders, according to Politico.
“This is like a ‘fuck you’ to Trump,” a Democratic donor expressed to Politico Playbook last Thursday.
The chef José Andrés, who in 2015 sought to open a restaurant in the hotel but went on to spar with Trump over his now-infamous remarks about Mexican immigrants, pulled out of the project and a legal fight ensued. (The parties settled in 2017.)
But under its new ownership and name, Andrés has finally opened his own restaurant at the hotel, The Bazaar, which has attracted some of the most bold-typed Democratic names in the nation’s capital.
Recent dining guests have included former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and Biden campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez, according to Politico.
The hotel, which boasts large meeting rooms — a major draw for Democratic leaders — is just blocks from the White House. And while the hotel still has some guests who’ve visited to take in the space where Republicans once ruled, it’s no longer a GOP draw.
“I think a lot of people’s favorite part about the hotel is that it’s not owned by Donald Trump,” Biden campaign spokesperson Kevin Munoz told the outlet.