World renowned Washington DC-based chef Jose Andres told the Washington Post Wednesday that he is backing out of a deal to open the flagship restaurant of Donald Trump’s new luxury Washington hotel because of comments The Donald made about immigration.
Well, not so fast.
Andres, who himself is an immigrant from Spain who has spoken out in the past on immigration issues, said he’s finished with Trump:
More than half of my team is Hispanic, as are many of our guests. And, as a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American citizen myself, I believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status.
Well, actually, he might just be getting started with Trump. Unlike larger businesses which have “amicably” severed ties with him in recent days, Trump is threatening to make things extremely hot in the kitchen for Andres.
Wrote his son, Donald Trump Jr:
Our relationship with José Andrés has always been a good one, but simply put, José has no right to terminate or otherwise abandon his obligations under the lease. In the event Mr. Andrés defaults in the performance of his obligations, we will not hesitate to take legal action to recover all unpaid rent for the entire 10 year term together with all attorneys’ fees and additional damages we may sustain. We will also enforce the exclusivity provisions preventing Mr. Andrés from opening a competing restaurant anywhere in the D.C area. Mr. Andrés’ obligations under the lease are clear and unambiguous.
Ten years of rent? At a Trump hotel? Uh oh. Not sure even Trump would want to pay that.
Who knows if this is bluster? But Trump is now clearly trying to stop the bleeding, putting others on notice that the days of kiss-and-say-goodbye are over.
Meantime, the Post reported a couple of days ago that many workers at the hotel site may be here illegally:
Interviews with about 15 laborers helping renovate the Old Post Office Pavilion revealed that many of them had crossed the U.S-Mexico border illegally before they eventually settled in the Washington region to build new lives.
Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Wednesday that he cannot “guarantee” everyone on the site is legal, but he has tried to ensure that they are and would fire any who are not.