Donald Trump attacked the House oversight committee chair, Elijah Cummings, on Saturday, claiming his congressional district in Baltimore was a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess”. But Trump has had his own problems with rodents.
For example, in February, the Trump Tower Grille in the president’s signature Manhattan property was reported for “live mice” and other health code violations.
New York City health inspectors visited the restaurant on 11 July 2018 and found “evidence of mice or live mice” in and around the kitchen, a violation of sanitary standards that was deemed to be “critical”.
The inspectors also found the restaurant to be “not vermin-proof” and said it was “conducive to attracting vermin” and “allowing vermin to exist”.
The New York Daily News reported that the Trump Tower restaurant has been cited for health code violations in each of the past five years, including sightings of “live roaches” in 2016 and “filth flies” in 2017.
A Trump Organization spokesman told the paper such infractions had been dealt with and the restaurant retained an A rating from the city health department.
But a former business associate told the Daily News that despite being a self-described “clean hands freak” and germaphobe, Trump has “always been far more focused on creating an image for his properties than in spending what it takes to make them excellent”.
The president’s Trump Golf Links in the Bronx has also had problems with health inspections. The course restaurant’s plumbing and sewage systems were deemed substandard, the Daily News reported.
In 2018, an artists’ collective used live rats in an installation in a room in the Trump International hotel, at the south-west corner of Central Park. The piece also featured a Trump impersonator wearing golden handcuffs.
“The big question is the rats,” a source told the New York Post’s Page Six team. “They’re not emotional support rats. I’m sure it’s a health code violation, but I’m not sure what kind.”
Back on the other side of the park, a 15ft inflatable “Trump Rat” has appeared on the north-west corner of 58th Street and Fifth Avenue, outside Trump Tower.