Donald Trump’s butler reveals 9 of his quirks

Dylan Stableford
·Senior Writer

Ever wonder what Donald Trump is like? No, really like? Say, at home?

Anthony Senecal, Trump’s longtime butler at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., knows better than almost anyone else.

“You can always tell when the king is here,” Senecal told the New York Times for a profile (“A King in His Castle: How Donald Trump Lives”) that was published Tuesday.

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White hat: Good mood. Red hat: Watch out! (Photos: Getty)

The 74-year-old Senecal, who’s worked at the 118-room estate for nearly 60 years, revealed some little-known quirks about the Republican frontrunner. Among them:

• Trump likes his steak well done — cooked through so thoroughly it “rock[s] on the plate.”

• “Mr. Trump insists — despite the hair salon on the premises — on doing his own hair.”

• Senecal once hired a bugler to play “Hail to the Chief” as Trump stepped out of his limousine after receiving “an urgent warning from Mr. Trump’s soon-to-land plane that the mogul was in a sour mood.”

• Mar-a-Lago staffers have figured out how to tell if Trump is in one of those sour moods — by observing the color of his hat: “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.”

• When he is in a good mood, Trump sometimes peels “$100 bills from a wad in his pocket to give to the groundskeepers.”

• “Mr. Trump rarely appears in bathing trunks, for example, and does not like to swim.”


• After the real estate mogul bought the estate in 1985, he turned the library into a bar and hung a painting of himself, in tennis whites, on the wall.

“I’ve been in other homes in Palm Beach — same exact painting,” Senecal said. “Just a different head.”

• Senecal tried to retire in 2009, but Trump wouldn’t have it, elevating him to “a kind of unofficial historian” at Mar-a-Lago instead:

“Tony, to retire is to expire,” Mr. Trump told him. “I’ll see you next season.”


• And while Trump is “abundantly proud of his ability to drive a golf ball,” Senecal would sometimes lie to his boss when asked how far his ball went:

“Tony, how far is that?” Mr. Trump would ask.

“It’s like 275 yards,” Mr. Senecal would respond, though he said the actual distance was 225 yards.


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Trump at a news conference in the White and Gold Ballroom at Mar-a-Lago. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)