President Trump hosted the Clemson Tigers on Monday night at the White House after the team won the College Football Playoff National Championship over the weekend. Because the federal government has been shut down for 24 days (which is entirely Trump’s fault), the president couldn’t leave hosting responsibilities to the furloughed staff. Instead, Trump personally paid for a catered dinner of what he called “great American food.”
As has been well documented, Trump’s idea of “great American food” means a table full of fast food. To honor a team that traveled all the way to Washington, D.C. to meet the president in their nicest suits, there were neatly piled silver trays of Big Macs (with their buns), Filet-O-Fish, and Wendy’s wraps. A few pyramids of stacked salads dotted the table, and Domino’s pizza was piled between ornate golden candelabras. To make sure it was clear that this was a fancy affair and not a fifth grader’s Chuck E. Cheese’s birthday party, the condiments (packets of ranch dressing, ketchup, and mustard) were all placed in classy silver serving bowls.
In a video captured by a White House pool reporter, Trump hovered over the table of “pizzas, 300 hamburgers, many many french fries, and all of our favorite foods” like any other earnest host would. He wouldn’t comment on whether he preferred Wendy’s or McDonald’s, but did comment that “if it’s American, I like it.” He also made sure to take a moment to shill for his border wall, which he again claimed is necessary and also worth shutting the government down over.
According to Secretary Sanders, “the President is personally paying for the event to be catered.” Even by the White House’s own skewed standards of what is impressive, surely they realized that the president spending $1,200 on hamburgers wouldn’t be that cool to a team of college football players? Trump himself admitted that it might not be enough food. “Even with all of the food that we have … I wanna see what’s here when we leave,” Trump said. “Because I don’t think it’s going to be much.”