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Clinton Campaign Says It Tipped Maid-Rite Waitress

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

Good morning, David.

DAVID GREENE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: I guess the first question anybody would ask is - was there a tip or wasn't there?

GREENE: And here's a little of what the waitress said about this visit yesterday from the woman from the Clinton campaign.

ANITA ESTERDAY: She told me that they had paid with a credit card and had left a hundred dollar tip to be divided up amongst everybody that was working that day. I explained to her that our credit card machine, you know, doesn't add on the tip. And she says, well, then they left a hundred bill there. And I said, well, it didn't get divided up amongst us because I had gotten nothing.

MONTAGNE: So David, what did you find out? Was anyone tipped by the campaign? Was it divided up?

GREENE: Now, we should say that the campaign wouldn't identify anyone for us to talk to who was actually at the diner that day and who could tell about the tip being left.

MONTAGNE: And of course with these things, it wouldn't have been just Hillary Clinton at the counter. Her campaign people would have been taking other tables. Could those waitresses have gotten tips; not just the people serving the senator?

GREENE: And Esterday, the waitress, said that if her coworkers were told to share the tips they got, she's be surprised if they just took the money. And here's a little bit more of what the waitress had to say.

ESTERDAY: The ladies that were working that day have worked there for years, I mean some of them for 30 years, some of them for 25 years. And I've known a lot of these ladies most of my life living here too, and I can't imagine them pocketing it or not splitting it.

MONTAGNE: So we're left with a little bit of a she said/he said situation here. David, would some of these have been avoided if you had taken it to the campaign beforehand, this question about the tip; I mean wouldn't that be a pretty basic thing to do?

GREENE: Yeah. And since Anita Esterday had said on our air that nobody got tipped that day, which is different than saying just she did not get tipped - she said no one was tipped - I should have asked the campaign before the story aired if they could say if anyone was tipped and how exactly that happened. That would have made the tip, I think, a lot more of a focus of our story than I had intended. But it's clear I should have gotten their reaction upfront. That's way it's done.

MONTAGNE: David, thanks.

GREENE: Thanks, Renee.

MONTAGNE: NPR's David Greene. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Renee Montagne, one of the best-known names in public radio, is a special correspondent and host for NPR News.
David Greene is an award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author. He is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, the most listened-to radio news program in the United States, and also of NPR's popular morning news podcast, Up First.