California Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to face backlash in his state following his attendance, and now a release of photos, of a party at the upscale restaurant French Laundry recently. Newsom apologized Monday for the “bad mistake” he made and even called out his own hypocrisy in the apology, saying, “I should have stood up and … drove back to my house …. The spirit of what I’m preaching all the time was contradicted; I need to preach and practice, not just preach.”
Newsom was at the pricey restaurant north of San Francisco to celebrate the 50th birthday of longtime adviser Jason Kinney. A spokesperson for Kinney told FOX 11 in Los Angeles, “The guests and the restaurant followed all applicable state and county public health guidance. The guests specifically required outdoor seating. And that’s outdoor seating, as confirmed and provided by the restaurant.”
Photos emerging now seem to contradict that statement. FOX 11 released exclusive photos of the event taken by a witness who told one of the station’s reporters that the group was being so loud that the restaurant had to close a sliding glass door. The photos showed the party of a dozen or more people, sitting shoulder to shoulder, taking place beyond the closed sliding glass door.
On the same day as his apology, Newsom announced new coronavirus restrictions, including closing indoor dining across most of the state. Officials in California have also urged residents to avoid Thanksgiving gatherings next week.