When former President Donald Trump visited the iconic Versailles restaurant in Miami after being arraigned on 37 federal charges, he announced that there would be “food for all.” There was just one problem: according to a report in the Miami New Times, Mr Trump never picked up the tab.
Mr Trump’s visit to the Cuban restaurant functioned largely as a campaign stop after he spent the morning in federal court on charges that he mishandled classified documents and impeded the government’s attempts to get them back.
Mr Trump recieved a warm welcome at Versailles, a frequent stop for Republican candidates in the city, where diners sang him a rendition of “Happy Birthday” and prayed over him. But Mr Trump only saw fit to stay at the restaurant for a handful of minutes after announcing that there would be food for all, leaving no time for people to order let alone for him to pay the check.
Mr Trump flew back to New Jersey that afternoon to deliver a speech from his Bedminster golf club, telling the crowd that he declined to give back boxes of classified documents in part because he had clothes in the boxes.
The fact that Mr Trump didn’t pay the tab for customers at Versailles after telling them he’d do so won’t suprise many who have followed his career in public life.
In fact, the former president has a long history of stiffing people working for him. During his 2016 presidential campaign, USA Today reported that Mr Trump refused to pay in full hundreds of different people contracted to work for him — from dishwashers to attorneys. TruthSocial, the social media network favoured by Mr Trump to compete with Twitter, has also reportedly been engaged in a battle with its web host over unpaid bills.
Mr Trump, who has frequently boasted of his wealth and is estimated to have a net worth in excess of $2bn, currently has far bigger legal headaches than unpaid bills. He has been indicted in New York over alleged his role in a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, and also been federally indicted over his handling of classified documents after leaving the presidency.
Those prosecutions are playing out while Mr Trump competes to return the White House. He is currently the favourite to win the Republican presidential nomination for a third straight time, leading a large field of challengers that includes both Gov Ron DeSantis of Florida and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.