President Donald Trump said Tuesday on Twitter that he had bought ‘over 1000’ fast-food sandwiches and other entrees from restaurants to feed Clemson University’s national champion football team at the White House.
‘Great being with the National Champion Clemson Tigers last night at the White House,’ Trump tweeted. ‘Because of the Shutdown I served them massive amounts of Fast Food (I paid), over 1000 hamberders [sic] etc. Within one hour, it was all gone. Great guys and big eaters!’
Clemson offensive guard Matt Bockhorst, a red-shirt freshman, responded to a viral photo of him staring longingly at a platter of burgers, tweeting: ‘I mean you’re not just gonna NOT eat the Big Macs stacked in a pile right?’
Trump announced during the Monday night event that he had ‘1,000 hamburgers’ delivered to the East Room, where chicken nuggets and pizza were also served. He had told reporters hour earlier that he paid for 300 burgers.
The president also joked that he nearly fed the hungry football players salads prepared by the first lady – but decided to serve up the greasy favorites instead.
President Trump shows off the fast food being served at the White House tonight to Clemson
Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that he served the college football champions ‘hamberders’
One offensive lineman joked that there was no way he would leave a White House platter of Big Macs untouched
Trump paid for the hamburgers and pizza served at the reception. McDonald’s boxes and Burger King wrapped burgers filled the table
Aftermath of the fat food the president served at the reception for Clemson football players
A Clemson player carries as many Big Macs and Wendy’s burgers as he can carry back to his table at the White House reception
Trump paid for the smorgasbord himself rather than postpone the event because White House caterers aren’t at work during a partial government shutdown.
‘We ordered American fast food. Paid for by me. Lots of hamburgers, lots of pizza, I think they’d like it better than anything we could give,’ Trump told reporters as he arrived at the White House after a speech to farmers in Louisiana.
‘We have some very large people that like eating, so I think we’re gonna have a little fun.’
The president said in remarks to the team: ‘I had a choice: do we have no food for you, because we have a shutdown, or do we give you some little quick salads that the first lady will make along with the second lady, they’ll make some salads. And I said, you guys aren’t into salads.’
He opted for Big Macs, Quarter Pounders and other fast-food staples. ‘We have everything that I like, that you like,’ he told players to laughter. ‘And I know no matter what we did, there’s nothing that you could have that’s better than that.’
‘I wanted to see, so it was piled up a mile high, I just wanted to see what was left. I saw it at the beginning. How much he is left back there? How much?’ he asked. ‘None,’ a woman in the audience informed him.
President Trump later teased in his remarks that the players ‘wiped out more food than any human has ever seen before’ after revealing that he first considered having his wife Melania ‘along with the second lady make some salads’ for the players.
Trump repeatedly noted that Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Burger King are American businesses
‘I had a choice: do we have no food for you, because we have a shutdown,’ the president said of the fast-food meal
This photo shows dipping sauces placed in silver trays to accompany the chicken nuggets Trump purchased for the event
‘We ordered American fast food. Paid for by me. Lots of hamburgers, lots of pizza, I think they’d like it better than anything we could give,’ Trump told reporters as he arrived at the White House
He said: ‘We have some very large people that like eating, so I think we’re gonna have a little fun’
GETTING CREATIVE: the White House served the fries in disposable cups
A player takes a photo of their feast in the State Dining Room of the White House
Trump explained that this was ‘great American food’ for the football players and when asked for his personal favorite, he said he liked all the brands
It was President Trump’s second time welcoming the Clemson Tigers to the White House since the beginning of his presidency, which he noted in his speech to players, some of whom were returning champs.
He singled out the team’s quarterback, freshman Trevor Lawrence, who led Clemson to an undefeated regular season in 2018, did an especially good job.
‘Oh, I want to be the agent of that tall, handsome quarterback,’ he said. ‘You got a good future, good future, congratulations,’ the president added.
He told their coach, ‘what a job,’ and said a few players would not be returning, because they’d be entering the NFL draft and becoming ‘wealthy as hell in some cases.’
Assistant Athletic Director for Football Communications Ross Taylor told DailyMail.com that two-thirds of the team attended this year and that he wasn’t aware of any boycotters. Some missing players had tests to take; others were seniors who have moved on to the NFL.
Also attending the event was the Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker –a former college football player who appeared in the Rose Bowl but didn’t win – and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
‘Couldn’t make your team. He would never be able to make your team, that I can tell you,’ the president said of the 56-year-old former hedge-fund manager.
Trump their told their coach, ‘what a job,’ and said a few players would not be returning, because they’d be entering the NFL draft and becoming ‘wealthy as hell in some cases’
Before the dinner, Trump showed off the fast-food feast to reporters. He stood behind a table piled high with Big Macs from McDonald’s and burgers from Wendy’s and Burger King. Another table in back was full of Domino’s pizza and french fries that were served in White House-emblazoned cups.
‘We have pizzas, we have 300 hamburgers, many, many french fries, all of our favorite foods. I want to see what’s here when we leave, because I don’t think it’s going to be much,’ he told reporters at the start of the event.
He explained that the White House couldn’t hold the kind of reception it would have preferred for the players, because of furloughs that affect the president’s staff.
‘The reason we did this is because of the shutdown. We want to make sure that everything is right, so we sent out, we got this. And we have some wonderful people working in the White House. They helped us out with this,’ he added.
Trump explained that this was ‘great American food’ for the football players and when asked for his personal favorite, he said he liked all the brands.
‘If it’s American I like it. It’s all American stuff,’ he said.
He reiterated that they were all American companies again in his speech to players.
Trump loves fast food and seen eating it on his ‘Trump Force One’ during the campaign
White House kitchen staff in 2009 preparing for a Governors’ dinner
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that most of the staff at the White House residence is furloughed due to the government shutdown, which means kitchen operations are limited.
‘The President wanted to host a fun event to celebrate the College Football National Champion Clemson Tigers. Because the Democrats refuse to negotiate on border security, much of the residence staff at the White House is furloughed – so the President is personally paying for the event to be catered with some of everyone’s favorite fast foods,’ she said in a statement.
Sylvester Mayers, a 21-year-old sophomore told DailyMail.com that the fast-food dinner was ‘unexpected, but a very familiar taste’ after he finished his meal.
He had the hamburgers, chicken nuggets and the pizza, he said.
‘I appreciated it. It was a kind gesture. Could have gave us nothing, I suppose,’ he said of the president’s out-of-pocket purchase. ‘So, it could have been worse. Just excited for having the experience to be here, really,’ he said.
Earlier in the day President Trump bragged about the menu for the evening’s event.
‘We’re going to serve McDonald’s, Wendys, and Burger King with some pizza,’ the president told reporters at the White House Monday morning before he left for New Orleans. ‘I really mean it. It’ll be interesting. And I would think that’s their favorite food.’
The White House kitchen usually provides food for receptions in the Executive Mansion, as the state rooms in the White House are known.
But only 156 of 359 total full time employees in the Executive Mansion are working during the shutdown, according to a memo sent to the Office of Management and Budget about shutdown operations.
With three kitchens, up to five full time chefs plus support staff, the White House can serve dinner to as many as 140 guests and hors d’oeuvres to more than 1,000.
Receptions typically serve some type of food and drinks. Some holiday receptions have a full buffet. But food varies by the celebration.
In June, reporters caught sight of White House kitchen staff grilling leeks outside the mansion to serve at an Iftar dinner.
That same month staff spent a morning grilling steaks only to have the event, the annual Congressional Picnic, cancelled amid a spat between the president and lawmakers. They donated the meats to Walter Reed hospital.
With kitchen staff furloughed, providing refreshments for a large White House reception presented logistical difficulties that the wealthy president got around with his fast-food solution.
On the campaign trail Trump would often eat McDonald’s as he’s seen doing here
Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney celebrates with the national championship trophy after beating the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2019 College Football Playoff
Clemson beat Alabama 44-16 to win the National Championship
The choice of fast food for Monday evening is unusual but it is the president’s favorite food.
The New York Times even dubbed him the fast food president once.
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and deputy campaign manager David Bossie described a typical campaign meal Trump would order from McDonald’s in their book on the campaign: two Big Macs, two Filet-o-Fish sandwiches and a chocolate milkshake.
‘On Trump Force One there were four major food groups: McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza and Diet Coke,’ they wrote.
They recalled that Trump would have ‘two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish, and a chocolate malted’ shake.
Lewandoski later clarified to CNN that Trump skipped the carbs, and that’s why he ordered so many sandwiches.
‘Well, he never ate the bread, which is the important part,’ Lewandowski said. ‘He was busy campaigning. We didn’t have time to sit down for a meal.’
During the campaign, Trump posted photos of his fast food meals on social media: eating Kentucky Fried Chicken (with a knife and fork) or a McDonald’s hamburger with fries.
In May 2015, while campaigning the president told DailyMail.com that he ate fast food because ’It’s quick,’ as his ex-campaign manager later wrote about.
He and his staff munched on food from Burger King on that flight in between campaign stops. His driver had made a drive-thru run after a speech in Sarasota, Fla.
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