Orange makeup stains and $100 tips: Trump’s undocumented housekeepers tell all

An undocumented Guatemalan immigrant who works at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey as a housekeeper gave the New York Times extensive details about her time at the club and her numerous run-ins with President Donald Trump. On Thursday, the day the article was published, she reportedly decided to skip work.

“I never imagined, as an immigrant from the countryside in Guatemala, that I would see such important people close up,” Victorina Morales told the Times.

Morales left Guatemala in 1999 and crossed the U.S. border illegally, eventually settling in New Jersey. Using falsified documents, she secured employment at Trump National Golf Club in 2013, where she remained until Trump’s rhetoric and a hostile work environment compelled her to come forward as an undocumented immigrant. (She was still employed at the club Thursday but stayed home from work after the Times gave her a heads up about the article, according to editor Marc Lacey.)

An attorney representing Morales who arranged her interview with the Times did not immediately respond to a VICE News request for comment.

Morales shared with the paper a few choice stories about her interactions with the boss, who ran a campaign built on disdain for immigrants from Mexico and Central America. In private, she said, he offered her fat tips, praised the Guatemalan people, and even helped her clean some glass she couldn’t reach.

An undocumented Guatemalan immigrant who works at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey as a housekeeper gave the New York Times extensive details about her time at the club and her numerous run-ins with President Donald Trump. On Thursday, the day the article was published, she reportedly decided to skip work.

“I never imagined, as an immigrant from the countryside in Guatemala, that I would see such important people close up,” Victorina Morales told the Times.

Morales left Guatemala in 1999 and crossed the U.S. border illegally, eventually settling in New Jersey. Using falsified documents, she secured employment at Trump National Golf Club in 2013, where she remained until Trump’s rhetoric and a hostile work environment compelled her to come forward as an undocumented immigrant. (She was still employed at the club Thursday but stayed home from work after the Times gave her a heads up about the article, according to editor Marc Lacey.)

An attorney representing Morales who arranged her interview with the Times did not immediately respond to a VICE News request for comment.

Morales shared with the paper a few choice stories about her interactions with the boss, who ran a campaign built on disdain for immigrants from Mexico and Central America. In private, she said, he offered her fat tips, praised the Guatemalan people, and even helped her clean some glass she couldn’t reach.

Sandra Diaz, a former housekeeper who worked at the club between 2010 and 2013, scrubbed the future president’s toilets, washed his sheets and towels, and ironed his clothes. President Trump, she said, was much more particular about the cleaning capabilities of his housekeepers than their legal status, once asking her to follow him to a clubhouse on the property while he finger-inspected the Georgian manor for dust particles. Satisfied, he tipped her $100.

Both women were personally assigned to clean Trump’s residence on the property, a long-term job that required adhering to his exacting standards but also brought them into close proximity to his personal and professional life. Morales was there while the president interviewed potential Cabinet members, the Times reports, and also once witnessed him meeting with John Kelly. (The paper doesn’t specify the dates, but Trump hosted a slew of Republicans at the club in November 2016.)

Diaz, who was undocumented when she began working at the club but now holds a green card, even gave some insight into the president’s famed orange complexion. Diaz described to the Times a 2012 incident when the future president had “an outburst” when she was unable to remove orange makeup stains from the collar of his golf shirt. But it was a rare moment of uncouthness for Trump, whom both housekeepers agree was kind and well-liked among the staff.

But the women say they were angered when the president’s campaign succeeded largely because of his anti-immigration rhetoric, which once equated Mexican and Central American immigrants with violent criminals. And Morales said the president’s rhetoric also emboldened supervisors at the club to make abusive remarks about her immigration status.

“We are tired of the abuse, the insults, the way he talks about us when he knows that we are here helping him make money,” she said of her decision to come forward with her story. “We sweat it out to attend to his every need and have to put up with his humiliation.”

Cover image: (L to R) President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence arrive at the clubhouse at Trump International Golf Club, November 19, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey. Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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