White House spokesman Sean Spicer described the meeting as “a long-planned” token of the president’s appreciation for Sarah Palin’s support.
WASHINGTON — Ted Nugent, Kid Rock and Sarah Palin had a fete to remember at the White House for several hours Wednesday night, as President Donald Trump treated the high-profile supporters to a white-china private dinner, a room-by-room tour and free-range policy chat.
Nugent — a guitar demigod, knife-between-the-teeth hunter and conservative provocateur — offered an inside glimpse of a gracious, relaxed and house-proud president with ample time to offer his thoughts on a wide array of topics, from entertainment to existential geopolitical perils.
“We were there for four hours, man!” Nugent, a 68-year-old Detroit native, said in a telephone interview Thursday, using an expletive to signal his amazement at Trump’s willingness to spend so much time with his three casually dressed visitors.
“He gave us a wonderful personal tour of every room and talked about the origins of every carpet and every painting — there was a Monet — and then we had dinner,” said Nugent, who has referred to former President Barack Obama as a “mongrel” and to Hillary Clinton with an array of unflattering epithets.
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The encounter included a tour of the executive residence, a grip-and-grin session with Trump in the Oval Office and an impromptu snapshot — featuring a sneering Palin — in front of Hillary Clinton’s official portrait as the three guests and their families left through the East Wing. Nugent said one member of the group — he wouldn’t say who — asked the three to extend their middle fingers beneath the portrait.
“I politely declined,” he said. “Let the juxtaposition speak for itself.”
Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, described the meeting as “a long-planned” token of the president’s appreciation for Palin’s support in the 2016 campaign. But Nugent said it was much more than that.
“It was like a family reunion,” he said.
During dinner, which ended with flaming baked Alaska in honor of Palin — who was governor of that state when she served as Sen. John McCain’s running mate in 2008 — the president and his guests engaged in a conversation that Nugent said included the following topics: “health, fitness, food, rock ’n’ roll, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, secure borders, the history of the United States, guns, bullets, bows and arrows, North Korea, Russia” and a half-dozen other issues.
It was not clear if the president expected quite as much company. The invitation was initially extended to Palin, who invited the two aging, gun-loving, stringy-haired musical bad boys: Nugent, a radio icon of the 1970s, and Kid Rock.
Palin posted pictures on her website the morning after the visit, which had not been listed on Trump’s public schedule. “President Trump’s invitation for dinner included bringing a couple of friends,” Palin wrote on her web page, which shows behind-the-scenes photos with a grinning Trump. “Asked why I invited Kid Rock and Ted Nugent, I joked, ‘Because Jesus was booked,’” she wrote.