Donald Trump has already made America great again for two women dining at his DC hotel – by comping their thousand-dollar dinner bill and kissing one of them.
When Jenna Setticasi made the trip from Florida to the nation’s capital to take part in the inauguration celebrations, she may not have expected to get up and close and personal with the president-elect.
But that’s exactly what happened during her meal with a friend, Michelle Rosser-Seiz, and her family at the Trump International Hotel in DC.
Trump received a hero’s welcome as he made a sudden surprise visit to his own Washington DC hotel on Wednesday evening.
The president-elect arrived to cheers from a crowd of VIPs and campaign surrogates at the Trump Hotel – seen in exclusive DailyMail.com footage.
The triumphant entry came after feigning a drive to the city’s Reagan National airport, then ducking the political press corps before turning around to drive to his own hotel.
But it was a quick stop – he spent just about 30 minutes inside the hotel, including the restaurant BLT Steak, before rushing back off in his motorcade.
The hotel’s 200-foot ceiling was festooned with baskets of red-white-and-blue balloons – in preparation for a balloon drop on Friday after the inauguration ceremony.
The typically subdued hotel lobby was also decked out in blue and red strobe lights and dance music blasted, as staff prepared for the upcoming celebrations.
There has been some speculation about where Trump will stay the night before he takes the oath of office later this week.
But his surprise appearance at the Trump International, which he has called the best accommodation in Washington, suggests that he will spend his last night before becoming president at his own hotel.
After spending the late part in Washington rubbing elbows with top donors at two ‘dinners’ where he did not eat, Trump was expected to drive fly back to New York, but made an abrupt change of plans.
His motorcade changed direction, to the dismay of Washington reporters who were trying to keep up with him as Trump’s car made a beeline for his hotel.
Thrilled onlookers erupted in cheers in the Trump Hotel lobby – even as the Washington press corps expressed frustration at Trump’s unexpected pit-stop.
‘Pool became suspicious when motorcade drove in exact opposite direction of the airport,’ complained the press pool report on Wednesday evening. ‘Motorcade arrived at the hotel shortly thereafter at 9:35 pm. No details are available yet on what PEOTUS is doing.’
The Trump Hotel in Washington was closed off to many of the members of the public and the press on Wednesday.
But Dailymail.com was able to get inside – and spotted plenty of Trump insiders celebrating his pending inauguration festivities.
Revellers on Wednesday included loyal campaign surrogates Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich, who dined with their wives Judy Giuliani and Callista Gingrich at the hotel’s high-end BLT Steak restaurant.
Blackwater founder Erik Prince and former Bush administration official James Woolsey were also spotted at the hotel.
Prince’s sister Betsy DeVos is Trump’s nominee for education secretary.
Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary – former Goldman Sachs exec Steven Mnuchin – also made an appearance.
It was at least Mnuchin’s second time stopping by the hotel this week, after Dailymail.com reported that he and his Scottish actress fiancée Louise Linton celebrated his pending confirmation hearing this Thursday with a bottle of champagne in the lobby bar on Monday evening – which was opened by saber.
Floridian Setticasi posted an account on social media of the meeting with the Donald at the Trump hotel in DC – which included him ‘comping’ their entire bill.
‘OMG just hugged Donald J Trump,’ she wrote on Facebook, before sharing pictures of the president-elect sitting down at the table next to hers.
Setticasi also shared a video showing Trump plant a kiss on her friend’s cheek after giving her a big hug while working his way through the crowd of well-wishers.
The video started by showing the Donald climbing up the stairs to an upper level of the restaurant, before he started shaking hands with people nearby – many of whom had their smartphones out to record his arrival.
Then, as Trump’s security cleared a path for him that went across the front of where she was standing, Rosser-Seiz began shouting in an attempt to get his attention.
‘I love you Trump, I love absolutely love – make America great, oh my god I’m going to cry, he hugged me,’ she was heard saying in Setticasi’s short video.
Rosser-Seiz then posted a picture of her and Trump on Facebook, along with the caption: ‘So this just happened. He kissed me!!’
Setticasi then revealed the president-elect took care of their bill, writing: ‘Trump just comped our bill! MAGA.’
The Floridian then took a few more snaps of Trump as he was dining, before the president-elect raced off.
Dozens more posted pictures and videos of Trump’s whirlwind visit to his hotel, which came just 36 hours or so before he will be sworn in as the 45th president.
He seemed more than happy to shake hands and hug those cheering him, while waving to those who were not as close up.
Earlier in the night, the president-elect attended two dinners, the first of which was packed with deep-pocket donors wanting to honor Mike Pence.
People who ponied up between $500,000 and $1 million were able to attend the event at the National Portrait Gallery, according to Politico.
Reporters were not allowed inside, but the New York Times was able to obtain quotes from Trump’s speech to those at the dinner.
He started off by credited Pence for bringing around those who were unsure about the Trump ticket, saying: ‘They all liked Mike. They were a little bit, you know, a little concerned with me.’
He also took aim at a number of his Republican foes, including Ted Cruz and Scott Walker.
He said Cruz is a, ‘smart guy, he was a little late to the plate, but that’s OK’, before describing Walker as ‘nasty’.
The president-elect then took a shot at the ‘Never Trump’ movement – a group of Republicans who were committed to keeping him from the White House.
‘They’re really right now on a respirator; they’re pretty much gone,’ he said, according to the Times.
In the winding speech, he then ‘thanked’ African American voters who did not go to the polls on election day – something he has done previously.
‘Because they liked me, or they liked me enough that they just said, ‘No reason,”‘ he said.
The PEOTUS also shed some light on his immigration policy, according to the Times, by saying he wants the system to be: ‘at least a certain degree to be merit-based’.
‘We’re working on the border. We want people to come into our country, but we want them to come in legally,’ he said.
‘We want people to come into our country who are going to love us and respect us.’
Trump posed for pictures with some of the guests, including country singer Lee Greenwood and his wife, Kimberly. Greenwood will perform at the inauguration on Friday.
The second dinner of the night was advertised as an ‘intimate policy discussion’ to be held at the Library of Congress.
Tickets to the event were included in a presidential inauguration package that sold for between $100,000 and $250,000.
It is not known which cabinet officials are attending the dinner.
Wednesday night also marked the president-elect’s last trip on Trump Force One, before he is forced to give it up for at least four years.
After the final flight aboard his ostentatious jet on Wednesday, he will travel on a military plane on Thursday before he is sworn in on Friday.
After that, he will begin using the presidential plane.
Officials had earlier said it would be ‘nearly functionally impossible’ for Trump not to use ‘AF1’.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Liam Quinn and Alana Goodman