In a tense meeting with his national security team last month, Donald Trump compared his policy review of the War in Afghanistan with the renovation of a splashy Manhattan restaurant in the 1980’s, NBC News reports.
The meeting—which involved advisors and the president discussing the Trump administration’s approach to a war that’s spanned three presidents—took place over the course of two hours in the White House situation room. According to NBC News, the president lamented the lack of action from NATO, asked about mining Afghanistan for its estimated $1 million in rare minerals and at one point complained, “we aren’t winning.”
According to one official, Trump at one point said the situation in Afghanistan was similar to renovations that occurred at “21” Club. In the 1980’s, the elite New York City hotspot closed and “hired an expensive consultant to craft a plan for a renovation.”
“After a year, Trump said, the consultant's only suggestion was that the restaurant needed a bigger kitchen,” NBC reports.
Officials who spoke with NBC said the president meant the comparison as a way to show that sometimes you don’t need to bring in experts to solve a problem. “He also said the tendency is to assume if someone isn't a three-star general he doesn't know what he's talking about,” NBC News reports.
The ’21’ Club closed for two months 1987 to undergo renovations, NBC News notes. It remains one of the best restaurants in New York City.