Championship sports team visits to the White House are an old tradition. No surprise that Donald Trump invited the Clemson Tigers to Washington, D.C., after the team beat Alabama for the national championship.
It’s a special event, which this time was marked by fast food.
The federal government shutdown and worker furloughs have affected the White House staff, including in the kitchen. As host of the year’s college football champions, Trump on Monday decided to send out for what he said was food from “all-American companies,” including Burger King, Wendy’s, and McDonald’s, according to the Washington Post.
Apparently missing was something from Chick-fil-A, a favorite of the fighting tigers’ quarterback Trevor Lawrence, according to USA Today.
Trump is a well-known fast food fan. While the menu was basic, his guests were served in relative style, from a buffet using everyday White House china and silverware, atop silver platters on a long table with no tablecloth, but decorated with grand, gold, lighted candelabras.
A White House press pool report said about 300 burgers were set out for the players.
Trump said, “So I had a choice. Do we have no food for you? Because we have a shutdown,” Business Insider reported. “Or do we give you some little, quick salads that the First Lady will make?”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a statement blamed Democrats for the shutdown and said that Trump was personally paying for the food.
The White House didn’t release the cost of the meal, but some news outlets tried to estimate the expense. The Post worked it out to be $2,911.44—or maybe $2,437.11, depending on whether the food came from the 2-for-$5 menu.
USA Today estimated the expense to be $861.72. Maybe the difference came down to what was included. USA Today didn’t include french fries or pizza, which Trump said would be part of the order, because none appeared in the pictures they used for their estimate.
No mention of a tip by either.