Trump's Butler Dishes on How the 'King' Lives
White baseball cap means good mood; red baseball cap means stay away
By Jenn Gidman, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2016 10:44 AM CDT
He must have been in a good mood here.   (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

(Newser) – "You can always tell when the king is here," Anthony Senecal tells the New York Times. The king he's referring to: Donald Trump. Who Senecal is: Trump's longtime butler, who offers the paper fascinating insight into how the GOP front-runner lives at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida—a 118-room mansion, originally built by heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, that the Times calls Trump's "Versailles." The 74-year-old Senecal, who's toiled in Trumpville for almost 30 years (and, in a Shining-like caretaker role, been part of Mar-A-Lago for nearly six decades), appears to adore his boss, knowing how to "stroke his ego and lift his spirits," including blasting "Hail to the Chief" one time when The Donald was returning from a trip in a cranky mood. Other revelations from Senecal, who somewhat retired in 2009 and now serves as the estate's "unofficial historian":

  • When Senecal was still butlering, Trump kicked off his day by reading papers like the New York Post, the New York Daily News, the New York Times, and local papers, sometimes after as little as four hours of sleep.

  • If Trump—who does his own hair even though there's an on-site hair salon—leaves the house wearing a white baseball cap, he's likely in good spirits; if it's a red cap, it's better to take cover.
  • The mogul is often generous to his staff, even doling out $100 bills to groundskeepers when the mood strikes him.
  • He marred the 16th-century Flemish tapestries Post originally hung in the living room by throwing the drapes open (Post always protected them from the sunlight by keeping the drapes closed).
  • Senecal has strong words for Trump's ex-wives, spilling that first wife Ivana was a neat freak who liked to swim naked in the pool, and that second wife Marla Maples "really didn’t belong here." Senecal also dishes on Hillary Clinton, though the Times declined to elaborate on the "profane description" he offered for the ex-secretary of state.
  • A telling tale: When Senecal pointed out as not true a yarn Trump often spun about one of the children's suites in the mansion—that the room's tiles, based on nursery rhymes, were crafted by Walt Disney himself—Trump simply laughed and said, "Who cares?"
Read the entire piece for more titillating tidbits.