WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is no fan of Nicolás Maduro, but his son enjoyed artistically salted steaks Thursday by a celebrity chef who set off protests in Miami for feeding the Venezuelan dictator last month.
Donald Trump Jr. posted a video on Instagram Thursday night that showed him being served steak by Nusret Gökçe, a Turkish chef known as Salt Bae for finishing his elaborate steak presentations with a flourish of salt.
Salt Bae’s decision to post videos of him feeding Maduro and providing him with a customized T-shirt while Maduro puffed on a cigar set off protests in Miami after Sen. Marco Rubio, a vocal critic of Maduro, posted the address and phone number of Salt Bae’s Miami restaurant. Trump Jr. appears to have posted the video from Salt Bae’s New York location.
Rubio did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Maduro’s appetites are a particularly sensitive subject given the starvation faced by many Venezuelans who are suffering from hyperinflation from Maduro’s policies. The Trump administration has heavily sanctioned the Maduro government and hasn’t ruled out eventual military action.
This guy @nusr_ett who admires dictator @NicolasMaduro so much actually owns a steakhouse in, of all places, #Miami. It’s called NUSR-ET STEAKHOUSE MIAMI located at 999 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL 33131
The phone number is 1 305 415 9990 in case anyone wanted to call. https://t.co/7CDkgHVZWh
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) September 18, 2018
“Looks good, man,” says a voice in the video that sounds like Trump Jr. as Duke Dumont’s “Ocean Drive” blares in the background.
Trump Jr.’s Instagram account was peppered with angry comments pointing out Salt Bae’s ties to Maduro and his decision to dress up as Fidel Castro.
A post shared by Donald Trump Jr. (@donaldjtrumpjr) on Oct 11, 2018 at 6:00pm PDT
“Are you aware this man supports communism and dictators? Please tell me you were not aware of this!” one user commented.
Trump Jr. is a noted opponent of socialism on his social media platforms and works as a vice president in the Trump Organization. His corporation owns a Trump-branded golf course in Doral, the city with the highest percentage of Venezuelans in the United States.
“I hope he was unaware of the recent incident where this chef was drooling over one of the world’s most murderous tyrants,” said Miami Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo. “Either way, he owes an apology to all the survivors of Maduro’s death and destruction.”
Miami Herald staff writer David Smiley contributed to this report.
Alex Daugherty, @alextdaugherty, 202-383-6049