Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., is not about to apologize for spending thousands of dollars on cheesecake.

“Guilty as charged,” he told reporters at a Sunday news conference. “I love Junior’s Cheesecake so much.”

Schumer was responding to a Saturday report in the New York Post that ribbed him for spending over $8,600 at Junior’s Cheesecake, a famed New York institution, over the course of a decade. “At the current price of $43.95 for the signature plain cheesecake, the House minority leader gobbled up 196 in five years,” the tabloid reported, suggesting that Schumer could be called “Sen. Chuck E. Cheesecake.”

As CNN confirmed, Federal Election Commission filings show that the Friends of Schumer PAC did spend $8,638.85 at Junior’s Cheesecake between 2009 and 2016. But the expenditures were categorized as “supporter acknowledgments,” meaning that the cheesecakes were handed out as gifts, not purchased as snacks for the senator, as the New York newspaper itself acknowledged. And none were bought with taxpayer money, a spokesman for Schumer’s office told CNN.

Still, based on the headline alone – “Chuck Schumer has spent $8,600 on Junior’s cheesecakes in the past decade” – a reader could be forgiven for thinking that Schumer was living it up and consuming an astonishing amount of cheesecake. And the senior New York senator made clear on Sunday that he doesn’t have a problem with that. (After all, not liking Junior’s Cheesecake would almost certainly be a bigger electoral liability.)

“It’s the best cheesecake in the world,” he declared, holding up a printout of the Post article. “It is made in Brooklyn. I’ve been going to Junior’s since I was a little boy.”

The news conference was centered around a much more serious issue – Schumer’s concerns about the Transportation Security Administration’s use of the short-video app TikTok, which has ties to the Chinese government. The agency had used the popular social media platform to make humorous, informational videos, but Schumer warned in a Saturday letter that doing so could lead to a data breach and become a national security risk. Later on Sunday, TSA officials said they would no longer be creating videos on the app.

Putting those weightier matters aside, Schumer, who is also known for being a big fan of cheesesteaks and New York City diners, took the opportunity to address the allegations that he was in the pocket of Big Cheesecake. He gamely accepted a tray of Junior’s cheesecakes from an aide, then handed out a half-dozen mini cheesecakes to members of the press. “It’s my guilty pleasure,” he said, before cautioning reporters not to look at the calorie count.

“Oh, yeah,” he said as he ripped off the foil wrapper and dug into his cheesecake with a spoon. “Now you’re talking, baby.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.