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Trump Gets In $10 Million Food Fight With Celebrity Chef

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Donald Trump followed through with his threat to sue chef Jose Andres after the celebrity chef backed out of a restaurant deal at Trump’s new Washington, D.C., hotel.

The Trump Organization filed a $10 million breach of contract lawsuit Friday against Andres’s ThinkFoodGroup in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for damages related to Andres’s refusal to open a restaurant in Trump’s hotel.

Now the chef is firing back.

“This lawsuit is both unsurprising and without merit,” ThinkFoodGroup, Andres’s company, said in a statement. “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.”

The two sides initially agreed to a deal in January that would see Andres, a celebrity chef with over a dozen high-end restaurants in D.C., open a Spanish restaurant in the hotel Trump is slated to complete next year.(RELATED: Union Chief: ‘Trump Caused The Charleston Shooting’)

Trump won a bid from the federal government in 2012 to transform the Old Post Office Pavilion into a $200 million luxury hotel that would include a conference center and three elite restaurants.

Things went south between the two sides after Andres, who is an immigrant, took offense to comments Trump made in July calling illegal immigrants rapists and murderers.

On July 8, Andres announced that he was pulling out of the restaurant deal, saying Trump’s comments “make it impossible” for his company to move forward with the planned restaurant.

The Trump Organization immediately announced its plans to sue Andres and said his company was still on the hook for the 10-year lease it signed.

A Trump spokesman told POLITICO that Andres is basically just trying to walk away from a contract he signed, which is illegal, and Trump’s comments have “nothing to do with anything.”

“You don’t get to sign agreement that you’re going to pay rent for the next 10 years and just walk away,” Alan Garten told the website.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.