What a great story.

IJR’s Benny Johnson was the only reporter on hand when President Tump, Nigel Farage and Secretary of State Tillerson visited BLT Steak inside of Trump’s hotel in D.C., but he wasn’t there by accident — he booked a table acting on a tip from a trusted source:

In other words, Johnson practiced journalism while the rest of the White House Press Corps waited for the administration to spoon-feed them the story. From Jordan Fabia who was the pool-reporter on duty Saturday night:

Hey, don’t blame Johnson:

Hunter Walker of Yahoo News accused the Trump administration of planting Johnson in the restaurant for good coverage:

And last night, Bloomberg’s Steven Dennis wrote:

Johnson’s response:

From Johnson’s write-up:

Inside the restaurant, I was seated at a table I had booked hours earlier next to where Trump would be dining, based on a tip from a trusted source. I was ready to tell the story no one else would get to see and was personally fascinated to observe how a restaurant prepares for a president — and how Trump interacts when he believes no press are present.

Update: Politico’s Marc Caputo came to Johnson’s defense after we published our post:

Johnson even ended up getting to ask President Trump a question on the White House Correspondent’s Dinner:

More photos from the dinner:

 

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