Air-lifting a behemoth lobster hundreds of miles is a sure way to run up your dinner bill.
That’s part of how Sean Hannity allegedly spent tens of thousands of dollars at the restaurant of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
On the weekend of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Fox News host “ran up a $42,000 tab in the [hotel] restaurant, which included the cost of flying in an eight-pound 70-year-old lobster from Maine,” GQ magazine reported in June.
Fox News denied the story at the time. And after the GQ article resurfaced Thursday on Twitter, Hannity tweeted “FAKE NEWS!! Ridiculous Fake News!! NEVER HAPPENED.”
There’s another reason to think the tale is fishy.
The state places strict limits on the size of lobsters that can be caught in Maine waters and imposes hefty fines on people who pull in oversized or undersized ones. With those restrictions, an 8-pounder couldn’t be caught or sold in Maine, according to Matt Becerra, a support supervisor at Maine Lobster Now.
The story of Hannity’s dinner was conveyed to GQ by “one forthcoming waiter.” And there might also be reason to think that the server was just confused about the hefty crustacean’s origins.
While they likely were caught elsewhere, several companies ship oversized “Maine” lobsters.
You can mail-order an 8-pounder from Maine Lobster Now, though Becerra said it would have come from Massachusetts, Rhode Island or Canadian waters.
Likewise, Lobsters Online sells 7- to 9-pound crustaceans and lists the ingredient as “Maine Lobster.”
Both companies denied sending a lobster to the Trump hotel around the inauguration. But off the top of his head, Becerra listed five other lobster sellers that might have.
One of these companies said they didn’t send a lobster to the Trump hotel. Another said the biggest they sell is 4 pounds. A third said they’re only a wholesaler.
Another lobster company said they couldn’t search records of sales, and a fifth didn’t immediately respond.