What do you feed a pack of victorious Tigers? If you’re President Trump and the Tigers in question are the college football playoff champion Clemson Tigers, the answer is obvious.
“We ordered American fast food, paid for by me. Lots of hamburgers, lots of pizza,” Trump told reporters Monday evening after returning to the White House from New Orleans. “We have some very large people that like eating, so I think we’re going to have a little fun.”
Clemson, led by head coach Dabo Swinney, won their second national championship in three seasons on Jan. 7 by blowing out the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide 44-16 in Santa Clara, Calif. With the win, Clemson completed the first 15-0 colege football season since the 1897 Penn Quakers.
The players were greeted by a White House smorgasbord unlike any other. Silver trays held stacks of wrapped burgers from Wendy’s. Also on offer were boxed burgers from McDonald’s, including Big Macs. White House cups bearing the presidential seal held French fries
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said much of the White House residence staff has been furloughed due to the ongoing partial government shutdown, “”so the president is personally paying for the event to be catered with some of everyone’s favorite fast foods.”
Pizzas, some topped with olives and tomatoes, also were on the menu. Silver bowls held the condiments, and stacks of white plates sat nearby. Several young men were spotted eating multiple burgers at the standup tables dotting the East Room.
The president is a noted fast food fan, particularly McDonald’s and Wendy’s.
“I’m a very clean person. I like cleanliness, and I think you’re better off going there than maybe someplace that you have no idea where the food’s coming from. It’s a certain standard,” he said in a 2016 interview.
“I think the food’s good,” he added.
The Clemson team’s visit is its second since Trump took office. The Tigers last visited in June 2017 after their championship run the previous season.
Swinney has nominated this season’s undefeated Tigers as the best college team ever. Trump called them a “great team, an unbelievable team.”
Trump 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 champion Alabama also visiting the White House.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.