In Brief

White House Pulls Fast (Food) One on NCAA Football Champs

The Clemson Tigers were probably expecting something more than McDonald’s hamburgers when they visited the White House, but welcome to Trumpland.

President Donald J. Trump welcomes members of the press to the State Dining Room Monday, January 14, 2019, where the 2018 NCAA Football National Champions, the Clemson Tigers, will be welcomed with food from Domino’s, McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian, image via White House Flickrstream)

On Monday night, President Trump treated the Clemson University football team to a lavish dinner in the White House’s State Dining Room. The food was served on a mahogany table, with elegant gold candelabras holding long, white candles under a golden chandelier. Overlooking the table was a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, and the silver platters and gravy boats, of course, added a nice touch to the players’ meal of … fast food.

President Donald J. Trump welcomes members of the press to the State Dining Room Monday, January 14, 2019, where the 2018 NCAA Football National Champions, the Clemson Tigers, will be welcomed with food from Domino’s, McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian, image via White House Flickrstream)
French fries (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian, image via White House Flickrstream)

Sure enough, the Internet was quick to roast the President for his food selection last night, which consisted of McDonald’s Big Macs, Chicken McNuggets, Filet O’Fish, Quarter Pounders, and salads; Wendy’s chicken sandwiches, salads, and burgers; Burger King Whoppers; and Domino’s pizzas. And of course, french fries in cups bearing the presidential seal were plentiful. Trump described the feast as “Great American food.”

Sophomore linebacker Shaq Smith tweeted, “Laughable,” while another player could be overheard saying, “I thought it was a joke” in a video shared on Twitter. Former NFL running back Reggie Bush called the display a “slap in the face.” However, not everyone was disappointed. Freshman offensive guard Matt Brockhorst could be seen in a photo staring longingly at a neatly-stacked pile of Big Macs, to which he responded on Twitter: “I mean you’re not just gonna NOT eat the Big Macs stacked in a pile right?”

Twitter users subsequently ran with the images, creating meme after meme in the span of hours. The Hamburglar was a popular one, with Trump photoshopped as the burger-thieving McDonald’s character, tiny jazz hands spread wide in front of the fast food display.

In another meme, Principal Skinner from The Simpsons is photoshopped in front of the table, serving hamburgers from a platter. Another Twitter-user played off of the Facebook aging challenge, in which people post side-by-side pictures of themselves from 2009 and 2019. Trump’s hamburger photo is placed alongside Ronald McDonald, evoking a sense of creepy, abject horror. In a retweet of a photo of a Big Mac and Filet O’Fish on one plate, Twitter user @TheCosby writes, “Surf x Turf.”

Of course, many were quick to jump to the President’s defense, calling the naysayers “elitist” and arguing that reporters assume they’re “too good” for fast food.

President Trump can be seen showing off the food display in a video, saying, “The reason we did this is because of the shutdown,” subsequently boasting that he paid for the meal himself. On Twitter this morning he wrote, “Great being with the National Champion Clemson Tigers last night at the White House. Because of the Shutdown I served them massive amounts of Fast Food (I paid), over 1000 hamburgers etc. Within one hour, it was all gone. Great guys and big eaters!” It’s important to note, though, that those numbers are entirely false. According to the Washington Post, about 300 burgers were served, and the entire feast would have cost an estimated $2,911.44.

Ironically, in 2017, Clemson University hired culinary coach Donna McCain to ensure that the players eat well and avoid, presumably, the very food President Trump served at last night’s event.

Scroll down for more tweets and memes from the fast food extravaganza.

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