Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Sunday acknowledged a report that he spent more than $8,600 on cheesecake in less than 10 years, saying it is his “guilty pleasure” and that he frequently rewards supporters with gifts at a famed New York restaurant.
The New York senator’s PAC, Friends of Schumer, paid Junior’s Cheesecake in New York for “supporter acknowledgments” in amounts ranging from $46 to $516.45, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission filings between 2009 and 2016.
In total, $8,638.85 was spent at the restaurant during this time, CNN confirmed. The New York Post first reported on Schumer’s cheesecake spending.
During a news conference in New York City on Sunday, Schumer addressed the reporting about his sweet tooth and shared his love for the famed restaurant’s dessert.
“I give them as gifts. I use them for bets, you know when someone wants to bet something, you know for a Brooklyn thing versus a Wisconsin thing,” the New York Democrat said as he held up a copy of the news report and a platter of six cheesecake slices. “So I say to the New York Post and others, guilty as charged. I love Junior’s cheesecake. It’s the best cheesecake in the world.” Schumer said he’d been a fan of the restaurant since he was a young boy.
“It’s my guilty pleasure,” he said before he shared the treat with reporters.
Angelo Roefaro, Schumer’s press secretary, on Sunday confirmed they have bought cheesecakes over the past decade and told CNN the senator “likes any flavor, but plain allows one to really savor that Junior’s recipe.” Schumer’s office told CNN that the money used to pay for the cheesecakes did not come from taxpayers.
The restaurant, which has proclaimed itself “The World’s Most Fabulous Cheesecake,” was founded in 1950.
This story has been updated to add additional comment from Schumer’s office.