On Thursday, Anne Mahlum, the owner and founder of local gym chain Solidcore, posted on Facebook that Ivanka Trump had taken a Solidcore class under an alias. This wouldn’t be the first time Solidcore has hosted a presidential guest—Michelle Obama was a regular at the chain’s Adams Morgan location.
“What you do when you find out Ivanka Trump just took [solidcore], but used an alias to sign up for class? You reach out and ask for a meeting,” Mahlum posted. “While I don’t know her and I always seek to understand…I do know her father is threatening the rights of many of my beloved clients and coaches and as a business owner, I take my responsibility to protect and fight for my people very seriously.”
A call to the White House to confirm whether Ivanka Trump did indeed visit the gym went unanswered. But predictably, the response to Mahlum’s post was fiery.
Some were angry about the fact that it was “okay” to have an Obama in for a sweat session, but not a Trump.
— Dorothy (@PDDot) February 9, 2017
Others were simply upset that Mahlum had publicly shared a client’s name who clearly was attempting to go unnoticed.
— MaryfromMarin (@MaryfromMarin) February 9, 2017
Still others accused Mahlum of using this as a publicity stunt.
— Jewhadi™ (@JewhadiTM) February 10, 2017
What Mahlum doesn’t answer is why she chose to share this purported visit publicly. Mahlum could have arranged for a private meeting with Trump—without sharing this information with 3,747 Facebook friends. Mahlum’s post is yet another example of the position Washington business owners are in under this new administration—Taylor Gourmet’s owner was met with backlash for meeting with Donald Trump, while RPM Italian made the news for offering Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner a free meal. Though Mahlum didn’t respond to requests for comment on why she handled Ivanka Trump’s purported visit this way, her choice to publicize it immediately rocketed her, and her business, into the spotlight. It will be interesting to see if Ivanka Trump returns.