Friday 19 July 2019

Do you want fries with that? Trump serves up Big Macs and pizzas at official White House reception over shutdown

  • U.S. President Donald Trump laid on a fast food feast for a champion college American football team
  • Fast food lover Trump said he even paid for the meals himself because of the partial government shutdown, but did not disclose the bill
  • The president was hosting a reception for the Clemson Tigers after they won the national championship
U.S. President Donald Trump pictured with the fast food provided for the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers due to the partial government shutdown REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump pictured with the fast food provided for the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers due to the partial government shutdown REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Laurie Kellman

The scent of burgers and fries has wafted through the White House as US President Donald Trump laid on a fast food feast for a champion college American football team.

Mr Trump, a fast food lover, said he even paid for the meals himself because of the partial government shutdown, but did not disclose the bill.

"We ordered American fast food, paid for by me. Lots of hamburgers, lots of pizza," Mr Trump said after returning to the White House from a trip to New Orleans.

The president, who was hosting a reception for the Clemson Tigers after they won the national championship, said: "We have some very large people that like eating, so I think we're going to have a little fun."

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in front of fast food provided for the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers due to the partial government shutdown in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in front of fast food provided for the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers due to the partial government shutdown in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Guests attending a reception for the Clemson Tigers grab fast food sandwiches in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Guests attending a reception for the Clemson Tigers grab fast food sandwiches in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump calls an invited guest to join them on the stage during a ceremony welcoming the 2018 college football playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers to the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
President Donald Trump welcomes the 2018 college football playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers to the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Guests attending a reception for the Clemson Tigers grab fast food sandwiches in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
French fries and pizza are some of the fast food items for the reception for the Clemson Tigers in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Guests attending a reception for the Clemson Tigers grab fast food sandwiches in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
A the table full of fast food in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, is ready for guests attending a reception for the Clemson Tigers. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Guests attending a reception for the Clemson Tigers grab fast food sandwiches in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Guests attending a reception for the Clemson Tigers grab fast food sandwiches in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump talks to the media about the table full of fast food in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, for the reception for the Clemson Tigers. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
A Clemson player carries fast food hamburgers provided due to the partial government shutdown as the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers are welcomed in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Fast food hamburgers from the chain Wendy's are provided due to the partial government shutdown as the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers are welcomed in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Clemson's quarterback Trevor Lawrence carries fast food hamburgers provided due to the partial government shutdown as the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers are welcomed in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Fast food hamburgers from the chain McDonald's are provided due to the partial government shutdown as the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers are welcomed in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Fast food hamburgers from the chain McDonald's are provided due to the partial government shutdown as the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers are welcomed in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump welcomes the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers to the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said many of the staff in the White House residence are absent because of the shutdown, "so the president is personally paying for the event to be catered with some of everyone's favourite fast foods".

An impressive - and highly unusual - White House smorgasbord greeted the players.

French fries and pizza are some of the fast food items for the reception for the Clemson Tigers in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
French fries and pizza are some of the fast food items for the reception for the Clemson Tigers in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Silver trays held stacks of wrapped burgers from Wendy's.

Also on offer were boxed burgers from McDonald's, including Big Macs.

Guests attending a reception for the Clemson Tigers grab fast food sandwiches in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Guests attending a reception for the Clemson Tigers grab fast food sandwiches in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

White House cups bearing the presidential seal held the fries.

Pizzas, some topped with olives and tomatoes, were also on the menu.

A the table full of fast food in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, is ready for guests attending a reception for the Clemson Tigers. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
A the table full of fast food in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, is ready for guests attending a reception for the Clemson Tigers. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Silver bowls held the condiments, and stacks of white plates sat nearby.

Several young men were spotted eating multiple burgers at the stand-up tables dotting the East Room.

Guests attending a reception for the Clemson Tigers grab fast food sandwiches in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Guests attending a reception for the Clemson Tigers grab fast food sandwiches in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The Clemson team's visit is its second since Mr Trump took office.

The Tigers last visited in June 2017 after their championship run the previous season.

A Clemson player carries fast food hamburgers provided due to the partial government shutdown as the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers are welcomed in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A Clemson player carries fast food hamburgers provided due to the partial government shutdown as the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers are welcomed in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has hailed this season's undefeated Tigers as the best college team ever.

Mr Trump called them a "great team, an unbelievable team".

The president has routinely sparred with professional athletes during his two years in office.

College football has managed to avoid such political controversies, with last year's champions Alabama also visiting the White House.

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News