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Chef responds to Trump’s D.C. restaurant lawsuit

WASHINGTON — A food fight continues between Donald Trump and chef José Andrés as he abandons their restaurant deal at the Old Post Office Pavilion in the District after the Republican presidential candidate made widely criticized comments on immigrants.

On July 31, Trump Old Post Office LLC put words to action and is suing Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup and an affiliate, Topo Atrio LLC, for $10 million and attorneys fees, accusing them of two counts of breach of contract. The suit was filed in U.S. District court for the District of Columbia.

In response, Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup released this statement:

“This lawsuit is both unsurprising and without merit.  Simply put, Mr. Trump’s comments made ThinkFoodGroup’s participation in this project impossible and constituted a breach which the landlord, Trump Old Post Office LLC, refused to remedy.  And despite our attempts to negotiate an amicable resolution, we were ultimately forced to terminate the lease.  We had every intention of running a successful business that celebrates and welcomes people and cultures from around the world. The landlord allowed Mr. Trump to saddle us with the burden of his inflammatory statements, such that operating a high-end Spanish restaurant is no longer viable for us at this location.”

Andrés pulled out of the D.C. hotel deal after Trump made disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants during a June 15 speech declaring his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president. The Spanish-born chef said earlier this month that after those comments, opening a restaurant in Trump’s hotel was “impossible,” given his proud immigrant heritage and that of many of his employees and guests.

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