Petition calls for D.C restaurateur to 'Dump Trump'
An online petition is calling for a popular D.C chef to dump Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Trump is building a $200 million hotel at the Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue in Northwest D.C. Chef Jose Andres is scheduled to open a restaurant in the new space next year.
Now, a Change.org petition is asking Andres to back out of his plan to open the restaurant in the wake of controversial comments Trump made describing Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals.
You can't miss the three-foot letters spelling out Trump at D.C.'s Old Post Office building. But Erik Sanchez now hopes to spell trouble for Trump.
"Trump has created a toxic enough business environment," he told us.
Sanchez, a Mexican-American, is angry over Trump's comments that Mexican immigration brings drugs, crime and rapists to the United States and that he would wall off the Mexican border as president.
Sanchez is the one who started this online petition. But it is not aimed at Trump, but at the D.C.-based celebrity chef, who is from Spain. It is asking Andres to cancel the restaurant he is planning for the hotel Trump is building.
"I think it would be a strategically smart move for him to sever ties from a business perspective with Mr. Trump," said Sanchez.
The petition has over 2,100 signatures as of Tuesday evening with comments posted such as, "Jose, please don't do it. I love your food, but won't eat in a place where a dime goes to Trump."
Another wrote, "You don't need his politics or his money."
"I hope Jose Andres takes a stand for the Spanish speaking community," said another commenter.
But this issue has caused a debate here in Washington between those who say the chef should "dump Trump" and others who say he should open up a restaurant where he wants and when he wants.
At Chef Andres' Jaleo restaurant in D.C., some customers said the petition sounds a lot like bullying.
"That's not fair," said Pam Mumford. "Because you're equal. You can go do whatever you want to do."
"I don't think it will go against him," said Iris Ivana. "It's not something he said. It's what somebody else said."
But others said Trump's words are too much to swallow.
"If he doesn't want to have a restaurant in Donald Trump's building, I think that's fine with me," said David Selsnik.
It is a decision that won't be served up like fast food. The Trump International Hotel isn't scheduled to open until next year.
There have also been questions about the construction workers for this hotel. The Washington Post reported many workers told them they had crossed the U.S.-Mexican border illegally.
We reached out to both Trump and Chef Andres, but neither one of them reached back to us with a comment.