Trump makes surprise visit to South Carolina restaurant during campaign stop
Published in Political News
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Former President Donald Trump was in Columbia Saturday on his first campaign trip since announcing plans for a 2024 White House bid.
Before leaving South Carolina, Trump made a surprise stop at a restaurant in Lexington County.
Trump joined diners at Zesto of West Columbia, and his visit was widely shared on social media.
The former president stopped for pictures and greeted both staff and customers at the restaurant known for fried chicken, burgers and chocolate-dipped ice cream cones, among other items. Its ice cream treat is so iconic there’s a massive chocolate-dipped cone statue that towers above the 12th Street restaurant.
“So you recommend this food?” Trump was heard saying to an employee as he approached the counter to place an order.
The employee at the counter said, “Yes, sir,” while holding a cellphone to document her encounter with the former president.
She then asked Trump, “Do you care if I pray for you?” And Trump told her to go ahead while holding her hand and placing another on her shoulder.
As for his order, Trump went with the chocolate-dipped ice cream cone, according to Politico reporter Meredith McGraw.
Trump paid for his order with a $100 bill, said Jason Miller, an adviser to the former president. Miller worked for former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford before serving as communications director and main spokesman for Trump’s White House transition team.
Trump paid for the food and ice cream ordered for 10 people and got it to go, Zesto owner Anastasia Manos told The State on Sunday.
Trump’s affinity for fast food has been documented. After the Clemson football team won the national championship in the 2018 season, Trump welcomed the Tigers to the White House and fed them a meal of fast food — served on silver platters.
“A very great team, an unbelievable team,” Trump said at the time. “They’ll be coming tonight, and I think we’re going to serve McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King with some pizza. I really mean it. It’ll be interesting, and I would think that’s their favorite food.”
Prior to going to Zesto, Trump was at the State House to announce his South Carolina leadership team, which includes Gov. Henry McMaster and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham. Both prominent politicians were at Trump’s Columbia appearance.
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