He can't have his steak and eat it, too.
President-elect Donald Trump ditched his new press pool Tuesday night to eat dinner with his family at the 21 Club steakhouse, breaking presidential protocol in the process.
Trump slipped out of his home at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in a motorcade less than two hours after his press secretary, Hope Hicks, told reporters he would be staying put for the rest of the evening, the New York magazine reported.
The soon-to-be president was spotted at the Midtown restaurant with his wife, Melania, as well as his four grown-up children and their partners by off-duty Bloomberg reporter Taylor Riggs, who noted that Trump received a the standing ovation upon entering the restaurant.
Trump's public appearance without reporters in tow meant that he was without a "protective press pool," which is a group of journalists that monitors the POTUS' every move in case of an emergency, CNN's Noah Gray explained on Twitter.
It's tradition a protective pool travels everywhere to monitor movements in event something catastrophic takes place in country/to P(e)OTUS https://t.co/Rzs2teWywf— Noah Gray (@NoahGrayCNN) November 16, 2016
It's not about press "having the privilege", it's a service to the American public, & some ppl who don't like press don't understand that https://t.co/Y6ZTbirxQU— Noah Gray (@NoahGrayCNN) November 16, 2016
When reporters and photographers did catch up with the Trump entourage at the 21 Club Tuesday evening, they were forced to wait outside.
Spokeswoman Hicks told the press that the incident is a symptom of transitional hiccups and not an indication of what the president-elect's attitude toward the press will be after his inauguration.
This isn't the first time Trump has traveled without reporters monitoring his every move, but in this instance the allure of a $68 28-day dry-aged ribeye steak may have clouded his judgment.