The champions of this year’s College Football Playoff, Dabo Swinney’s Clemson Tigers, visited the White House on Monday, and President Trump once again did something unprecedented/”unpresidential”: He personally bought them a whole bunch of fast food due to the ongoing government shutdown, which is now the longest in history. In fact, he says he bought “over a thousand” burgers and other fast food items for the players.
While his critics roundly mocked the move online, Trump made clear Tuesday morning that he’s proud of the apparent popularity of his fast food choice among the players.
“Great being with the National Champion Clemson Tigers last night at the White House,” Trump wrote early Tuesday morning. “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!”
When Trump’s decision to pack the reception room with fast food was first reported Monday, he told the press that he was hoping to give the players a chance to “have a little fun” at the event. “We ordered American fast food, paid for by me,” he said, CBS News reports. “Lots of hamburgers, lots of pizza. We have some very large people that like eating, so I think we’re going to have a little fun.”
White House Press Sec. Sarah Sanders confirmed to the press that Trump was indeed “personally paying” for the fast food spread.
“Players were privy to an offering of Wendy’s-wrapped burgers stacked neatly across assortments of silver trays,” The Daily Wire’s Paul Bois reports. “Boxed Big Macs from McDonald’s were also available, and if that didn’t suit the players’ tastes, pizza was available as well. But the best offering of all were the fries, which were served in White House cups bearing the presidential seal.”
As Bois highlighted Monday, like almost everything he does, Trump’s unorthodox choice for a celebratory meal was criticized by many online, including the CEO of Black Sports Online, Robert Littal, who portrayed Trump’s fast food choice as playing into a “stereotype” of college athletes.
“Here is the thing Trump believes every single stereotype that is out there, so the stereotype that college kids-athletes just eat fast food all the time is all he knows. These college football powerhouses are billion dollar businesses much more steak than 4 for $4,” Littal wrote in a series of tweets. “They have video of Trump calling the 4 for $4 Great American Food while some guy is lighting candles by a bunch of Big Macs and then explaining this is why we need the Wall. I kid you not, this is real life.”
And, as expected, more criticism was directed Trump’s way in response to his Tuesday morning tweet, including people accusing him of using the moment as propaganda for his border security agenda, while others couldn’t get over the “hamberders” typo.
“I knew it. McDonald Trump intentionally fed the Clemson Tigers cheap fast food and gave some fake presentation to the media to troll the everyone as a propaganda stunt to highlight the shutdown,” the first person to respond wrote. “Never underestimate Trump. He’s the king of trolls.”
A few more examples of responses:
Note: This article has been revised to clarify that Trump said he bought “over a thousand” food items, not burgers.