Donald Trump after hours

Trump can’t do anything about that, for the most part. But he can still tweet. So now he walks out of his dining room, followed by the same substantial entourage of senior aides. Back in the Oval Office, he checks in with his waiting staff. “Did you get that stuff out?” the President asks of the tweets he had prepared. “The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax,” one reads, “when will the taxpayer funded charade end?” Dan Scavino, his social-media director, is sitting on the couch. “Yes, sir. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. It’s everywhere,” he says.

“The real story is the surveillance,” the President responds, before ribbing his staff. “But my comms people can’t get it out.” They start laughing. But there are even more pressing matters. Trump turns to McMaster, who was the subject of a column on Bloomberg earlier in the day, quoting anonymous sources saying the President was unhappy with his performance. It’s another story that Trump declares false. The President thinks he knows where the leak is coming from, which provides some comfort. But for now, he will counterprogram: “I’m so happy with him,” Trump says. “I think he’s wonderful.” And with that, he decides, it is time to go home…

The waiters know well Trump’s personal preferences. As he settles down, they bring him a Diet Coke, while the rest of us are served water, with the Vice President sitting at one end of the table. With the salad course, Trump is served what appears to be Thousand Island dressing instead of the creamy vinaigrette for his guests. When the chicken arrives, he is the only one given an extra dish of sauce. At the dessert course, he gets two scoops of vanilla ice cream with his chocolate cream pie, instead of the single scoop for everyone else. The tastes of Pence are also tended to. Instead of the pie, he gets a fruit plate.