Although on Sunday chef José Andrés backtracked after alluding on social media that Ivanka Trump had thrown him out of an afterparty in D.C., the chef has now gone on to claim that he stands by his account of the interaction and that “someone with connections” to President Trump’s daughter was responsible.
“Let’s not confuse my trying to Be generous and move on, with anything else,” Andrés —who was embroiled in a legal battle with Trump last year — wrote on Twitter hours after his previous comments.
“What happened happened and I stand by my account,” he continued, adding that “I’m ready to move on,” and focus on immigration reform instead.
But on Monday morning when CNN anchor Chris Cuomo applauded both sides for taking “the high road,” Andrés went on to claim that “someone with connections to [Ivanka Trump] made the call to not let me in.”
“Could Be she didn’t know, but it did happen,” he added, ” and this is not the Washington we know.”
The controversy began early Sunday morning after Andrés wrote on Twitter that he was “the only individual” who attended the Alfalfa Club dinner who was barred entry to an after party at Cafe Milano.
Addressing Cafe Milano’s owner Franco Nuschese, the chef asked if the reason he wasn’t allowed in was “Because @IvankaTrump told you so?”
“You should be ashamed of yourself Franco,” he added.
The tweet gained further traction after former Mexican Ambassador to China Jorge Guajardo wrote on his own account that Trump’s eldest daughter had the chef thrown out “because his presence made [her] uncomfortable.”
“In a new low for Washington, yesterday @chefjoseandres was asked to leave the Alfalfa dinner after-party at @CafeMilanoDC by its owner, Franco Nuschesse, apparently because his presence made Ivanka Trump uncomfortable,” Guajardo wrote, adding that “Cafe Milano is the watering hole of the Trump Admin.”
However, Nuschese later apologized to Andrés for the “misunderstanding” and denied that Ivanka had any role in “determining event attendees.”
“@chefjoseandres, you are always welcome at @CafeMilanoDC when we are open and in fact, I will host you and toast to all your successes. I am sorry for the misunderstanding,” Nuschese wrote on the restaurant’s official Twitter account.
In a separate tweet he also added that, “The dinner and after party are different guest lists. Also, Ivanka Trump had no role on determining event attendees.”
Responding to Nuschese’s apology, Andrés wrote, “Thank you @CafeMilanoDC and Franco for the apology. I understand [it] was a ‘misunderstanding,’” although he added that it was “still hard to understand why I was the only person not allowed in!”
Andrés also wrote that Ivanka had reached out to him and that he believed she had nothing to do with the situation.
“Thank you @IvankaTrump for reaching out. I believe now that you personally had nothing to do [with it],” he wrote. “Let’s now work on what’s important: Immigration reform, where #DACADreamers and Undocumented citizens will become part of a strong USA. With secure borders. With economic growth.”
Many Twitter users came to Andrés defense, including Anthony Bourdain. “To my mind, the @CafeMilanoDC thing was never ‘about’ a Trump,” he wrote. “It was about shameful treatment by a colleague and friend in the same industry.”
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Although Andrés found himself at the receiving end of a lawsuit from President Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign after the chef pulled out of a restaurant project in Washington, D.C.’s Trump Hotel because of the then-candidate’s controversial remarks about immigrants, he had previously told PEOPLE that he still had the utmost respect for the president’s family.
“I think highly of Ivanka and Donald Trump, Jr. I think they are really good people, classy people,” he said. “I welcome Ivanka to D.C. If she’s around, my restaurants are always open for everybody. All my life, I’ve had plenty of friends who disagree with many things, but we’re not less friends for that.”
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Andres’ restaurant company, Think Food Group countersued for $8 million, and the lawsuit was eventually settled in April 2017.