Trump Advisers Spotted Dining With Legacy Media Reporters In Milwaukee Ahead Of Trump-Less GOP Debate
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA - AUGUST 5: Former President Donald Trump pauses for cheers from the crowd before speaking as the keynote speaker at the 56th Annual Silver Elephant Dinner hosted by the South Carolina Republican Party on August 5, 2023 in Columbia, South Carolina. President Trump was introduced by South Carolina's Governor Henry McMaster.
Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

Members of the Trump campaign were spotted dining with a handful of top legacy media reporters ahead of the first Republican presidential debate that Trump is skipping. 

Top reporters from outlets including CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and NBC were seen rubbing shoulders with Trump advisers Chris LaCivita, Jason Miller, and Steven Cheung at a Milwaukee steakhouse called “Rare,” according to a POLITICO Playbook report. Team Trump was also passing out items poking fun at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the former president’s top rival within the GOP. 

Trump’s team reportedly handed out pudding snack packs — a jab at DeSantis based on a Daily Beast story — and bingo cards with squares that included phrases such as “dismisses polls,” “wipes snot,” and “woke.” Some members of DeSantis’ team were also reportedly at the restaurant when the pudding and bingo cards were handed out. 

The report triggered a response from conservatives who said they were surprised that members of Trump’s team would “wine and dine” with the same media that continues to attack the former president. 

Radio host Steve Deace, who recently endorsed DeSantis, took to X to express his disgust with team Trump’s tactic. 

“Trump campaign meeting with corporate media who hates us all, but they’re conspiring together to destroy Ron DeSantis,” Deace wrote. “The same media that tried to impeach Trump and is trying to put him in prison now, nevertheless toasting his campaign. All the same people the Trump campaign is schmoozing now will of course go all in to defeat him in the general.”

Deace said a source who was at the restaurant told him that “not a single conservative media outlet was there. All corporate and left-wing media.” 


“They accused you of being traitor and Russian asset. They stole an election from you. They impeached you. They’re trying to imprison you now,” Deace said. “And your people are wining and dining them? Are you freaking kidding me? What will it take to take this all seriously?”

Curtis Houck, managing editor of NewsBusters, also posted a stunned response to the report.  

“Team Trump ‘wining and dining with a number of top reporters.’ Amazing. Coordinating with the liberal media,” Houck said. 

The Trump campaign has not responded to a Daily Wire request for comment on the report.

Trump announced last week that he would skip the debate, opting for a sit-down interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson instead. The former president was criticized by many of his GOP opponents who believe Trump should attend the debate and explain how he can defeat President Joe Biden and the Democrats in 2024, but Trump has maintained that his sizable lead in the polls makes his participation in any debates unnecessary. 

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