Donald Trump is looking forward to another apocalyptic sweep in Tuesday’s presidential primaries. To celebrate the occasion, he allowed The New York Times access to his Florida Mar-a-Lago estate. The ridiculous, sprawling affair contains 118 rooms and is filled with nefarious secrets that reveal clues about the blustery candidate. This tour happened recently, as Secret Service cars lined the driveway and a guard straddled the door to Trump’s private quarters. More tellingly, the reality star granted the newspaper access to profile his long-time butler, Anthony Senecal.
This man has seen some sh*t over the years, and we’re not just talking about errant wine stains on dry cleaning. Senecal’s been a Mar-a-Lago fixture for six decades and privately worked for Trump for half that time. Before this estate switched paws, it belonged to cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, who bequeathed the property to the U.S. government. She hoped it would eventually be used as a presidential retreat, which may have forecast our country’s doom way back at her 1973 death. That is to say, this guy may take this election, and Post had no idea what she was wishing for.
This profile informs Trump watchers of many hilarious things, including some bits about multiple wives. First, Senecal tells us how Trump is referred to as “the king,” and the NY Times does not capitalize either word:
“You can always tell when the king is here.”
The candidate’s presidential aspirations may be part of a long-term soothing strategy that relates to Trump’s anger:
He received an urgent warning from Mr. Trump’s soon-to-land plane that the mogul was in a sour mood. Mr. Senecal quickly hired a bugler to play “Hail to the Chief” as Mr. Trump stepped out of his limousine.
Very related — on the premises, Trump always wears khakis and a polo shirt, but he color-codes his hats by mood:
If the cap was white, the staff noticed, the boss was in a good mood. If it was red, it was best to stay away.
In addition to Trump’s love of phallic-shaped buildings, the sport of golf also receives a few saucy metaphors:
Mr. Trump is abundantly proud of his ability to drive a golf ball, once asking rhetorically during a news conference: “Do I hit it long? Is Trump strong?”
Trump’s bar used to be a library, but the books received no attention, so he remodeled the room with a telling piece of decor, an oil painting that resembles a pseudo-Harlequin Trump.
“… the library, paneled with centuries-old British oak and filled with rare first-edition books that no one in the family ever read. When the library became a bar, Mr. Trump put a portrait of himself on a wall, posing in tennis whites.
The county airport must not like Trump, so he’s suing the place because they’re doing something absolutely dreadful to him:
Whereas Mrs. Post ensured that the nearby airport would divert flights away from the estate during her stays, the same courtesy has not been extended to Mr. Trump, and the constant roar of engines “drives him nuts.” “Tony,” Mr. Trump would shout. “Call the tower!”
Yes, Trump only eats well-done steak, and only one person can be blamed for the state of that bird-of-paradise noggin:
He understands Mr. Trump’s sleeping patterns and how he likes his steak (“It would rock on the plate, it was so well done”), and how Mr. Trump insists – despite the hair salon on the premises – on doing his own hair.
Trump is as bad as Lyin’ Ted Cruz when it comes to inventing false origins of his children’s suite decor:
Mr. Trump liked to tell guests that the nursery rhyme-themed tiles in the room were made by a young Walt Disney. “You don’t like that, do you?” Mr. Trump would say when he caught Mr. Senecal rolling his eyes. The house historian would protest that it was not true.
The wives get some airtime. Melania is “exceptionally compassionate,” but Ivana was an absolute horror because she didn’t want people to see her swimming naked:
Ivana [was] an especially demanding presence. She would instruct him to “get that spot out of that rug” and then do it herself if he failed. She would occasionally tell Mr. Senecal to have the gardeners go inside because she wanted to swim naked in the pool.
Finally, Senecal is stuck with Trump for the rest of his life after the mogul refused him retirement, so he can only wait for the sweet release of death:
Mr. Senecal tried to retire in 2009, but Mr. Trump decided he was irreplaceable, so while Mr. Senecal was relieved of his butler duties, he has been kept around as a kind of unofficial historian at Mar-a-Lago. “Tony, to retire is to expire,” Mr. Trump told him.
(Via New York Times)