Ah, Good, Donald Trump's Butler Refers to Him As 'The King'

Illustration for article titled Ah, Good, Donald Trump's Butler Refers to Him As 'The King'

The New York Times has published an alarming profile of Donald Trump’s longtime Mar-a-Lago butler Anthony Senecal, who doesn’t appear to mind that his boss is a close land-dwelling relative of the ancient Charybdis. “You can always tell when the king is here,” Senecal tells Jason Horowitz at the Times, referring to Trump, who is coincidentally running for King of America and China.


Senecal, 74, no longer fulfills his butler duties and remains on Trump’s gigantic Palm Beach mansion mainly as “a kind of unofficial historian”—according to the Times, he tried to retire in 2009 but Trump was like, “Nah.” Senecal has worked for Trump for nearly 30 years, during which time he has learned a thing or two:

Mr. Senecal knows how to stroke his ego and lift his spirits, like the time years ago 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 to enter Mar-a-Lago.

There’s also a fun little anecdote about Trump’s notorious hats, which his staff apparently uses as a sort of rage indicator:

The next morning, before dawn and after about four hours’ sleep, Mr. Trump would meet him at the arched entrance of his private quarters to accept a bundle of newspapers including The New York Times, The Daily News, The New York Post and the Palm Beach papers. Mr. Trump would emerge hours later, in khakis, a white golf shirt and baseball cap. 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.

Take note, world! Donald Trump, we also learn, is exactly the kind of neighbor you would expect him to be—i.e., gaudy and litigious:

These days, what really seems to bug Mr. Trump is the sound of planes over the property. 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,” Mr. Senecal said.

“Tony,” Mr. Trump would often shout. “Call the tower!”

The candidate is suing the county-run airport. He has also sued the town in a dispute over the size of his estate’s flagpole; the size of the banquet hall he added to the property; and the size of the club, which, to frighten the local gentry, he once threatened to sell to followers of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon.


As for Senecal himself, he sounds like a real gem—the Times points out that he seems to share his employer’s worldview, flinging disdain at the concept of hiring local workers, as well as at Trump’s ex-wives. According to the Times, Senecal “offered a profane description” of Hillary Clinton, and has some interesting policy ideas of his own:

In 1990, Mr. Senecal took a sabbatical to become the mayor of a town in West Virginia, where he gained some notoriety for a proposal requiring all panhandlers to carry begging permits. He said that Mr. Trump wrote to him, “This is so great, Tony.”


And I’ll leave you with this:

Mr. Senecal’s admiration for his longtime boss seems to know few limits. On March 6, as Mr. Trump made his way through the living room on his way to the golf course, Mr. Senecal called out “All rise!” to the club members and staff. They rose.


A lot to look forward to, folks.

Contact the author at ellie@jezebel.com.

Image via Getty.



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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.

This fuckin’ guy.