He praised Castro, fed Venezuela’s Maduro. Now Donald Trump Jr. sits with ‘Salt Bae’ for ‘amazing’ steak dinner

The mural at chef Nusret Gökçe's steakhouse in Miami.Jodi Mailander Farrell

President Donald Trump is no fan of Nicolás Maduro, but his son enjoyed artistically salted steaks Thursday by a celebrity chef who set off protests in Miami for feeding the Venezuelan dictator last month.

Donald Trump Jr. posted a video on Instagram Thursday night that showed him being served steak by Nusret Gökçe, a Turkish chef known as Salt Bae for finishing his elaborate steak presentations with a flourish of salt.

“This happened tonight. Amazing meal with @nusr_et #saltbae #salt#bae,” Trump Jr. posted to his verified Instagram account.

Salt Bae’s decision to post videos of him feeding Maduro and providing him with a customized T-shirt while Maduro puffed on a cigar set off protests in Miami after Sen. Marco Rubio, a vocal critic of Maduro, posted the address and phone number of Salt Bae’s Miami restaurant. Trump Jr. appears to have posted the video from Salt Bae’s New York location.

Rubio did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Maduro’s appetites are a particularly sensitive subject given the starvation faced by many Venezuelans who are suffering from hyperinflation from Maduro’s policies. The Trump administration has heavily sanctioned the Maduro government and hasn’t ruled out eventual military action.

“Looks good, man,” says a voice in the video that sounds like Trump Jr. as Duke Dumont’s “Ocean Drive” blares in the background.

Trump Jr.’s Instagram account was peppered with angry comments pointing out Salt Bae’s ties to Maduro and his decision to dress up as Fidel Castro.

“Are you aware this man supports communism and dictators? Please tell me you were not aware of this!” one user commented.

Trump Jr. is a noted opponent of socialism on his social media platforms and works as a vice president in the Trump Organization. His corporation owns a Trump-branded golf course in Doral, the city with the highest percentage of Venezuelans in the United States.

“I hope he was unaware of the recent incident where this chef was drooling over one of the world’s most murderous tyrants,” said Miami Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo. “Either way, he owes an apology to all the survivors of Maduro’s death and destruction.”

Miami Herald staff writer David Smiley contributed to this report.

Alex Daugherty, @alextdaugherty, 202-383-6049

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