It’s become increasingly clear in recent weeks that the so-called adults that were in the room are truly, truly gone. The influence of people like John Kelly and Jim Mattis seems to have vanished, and with nobody around to tell Trump, “No, that’s is not a good idea, don’t do that” (for instance, about shutting down the government), we are now seeing a low-budget reality-show president emerge.
To date, there has been no clearer example than the embarrassing show Trump put on last night when he hosted the Clemson Tigers football team, who just won the national championship after a historic undefeated season, becoming the first Division I team in 121 years to win 15 games in a season. How did Trump reward the team? With much of the White House staff on furlough, he had to cater in for the event. He also couldn’t get the taxpayers to pick up the bill during his government shutdown, so “billionaire” Trump dug into his own pockets and hit the $2 menus of Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Domino’s. And then he stood before a table of cold Big Macs and “many, many” cold fries and repeatedly bragged before the gathered press that he’d paid for it all out of his own pocket. Go on, big spender!
President Trump welcomed the NCAA national champion Clemson Tigers football team to the White House with a shutdown smorgasbord of fast food offerings he called "great American food," including piles of pizza and fries and more than 300 burgers. https://t.co/OVBdfzv4wg pic.twitter.com/dzEztYbia1
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 15, 2019
Let’s set aside for the moment that feeding top-level student-athletes at Division I universities have turned into serious business. Take for instance Clemson University, where they have private dining facilities and an “executive performance chef” whose sole job is to make sure players don’t eat the kind of junk food Trump offered them last night. Earlier this year, the University of Alabama opened a $15 million dining facility for student-athletes. The University of Kentucky has a chef on hand for the basketball team! And Trump went with cold Filet-o-Fish and chicken nuggets.
Needless to say, the entire event was rightly and swiftly mocked for the rest of the night. Here are some of the highlights that had us howling last night. Please add your own in the comments.
NEVER LET THE CLOWN HAVE A GO AT BEING RINGMASTER.
Old circus saying. pic.twitter.com/basMwOPhv9
— christhebarker (@christhebarker) January 14, 2019
You ever had a cold Big Mac? That what loneliness tastes like
— Dad (@fivefifths) January 15, 2019
Omg my chest ???? hoooomahgawd ???????? pic.twitter.com/TIc6adsWJH
— Momma A. (@aaevolution_) January 15, 2019
POTUS really threw them a 5th grade perfect attendance party https://t.co/5qKJZvcZjd
— Dad (@fivefifths) January 15, 2019
OK computer, enhance…. rotate 180 degrees…. Stop. Enhance once m– oh dear GOD no pic.twitter.com/T3tRnCoDkN
— please @ me for access to my powerful brain (@ChrisCaesar) January 15, 2019
Seriously, guys. I've been outraged by many of the things Trump has done as President. But this isn't outrage-inducing, it's just legitimately embarrassing.
And look at the look on his face. He's beaming like a three year-old who used the potty.
— Steve Singiser (@stevesingiser) January 14, 2019
Case in point.
This is the news photo that would make a returning time traveler realize they fucked something up pic.twitter.com/DwKe35Uicm
— Jess Dweck (@TheDweck) January 15, 2019
The usually prolific social media accounts of these fast-food companies were eerily quiet.
lol the Wendy’s, McDonalds, and Burger King social teams ain’t touching this one
— the hamberderler (@adamjmoussa) January 15, 2019
Former Congressman John Dingell nailed it, as usual.
Big Macs. Small hands. A nation’s embarrassment. pic.twitter.com/bwI7qlXWgg
— John Dingell (@JohnDingell) January 15, 2019
I'm getting a very Wes Anderson vibe here pic.twitter.com/cpOZM9iRaJ
— Colin Jones (@colinjones) January 15, 2019
— Paul Lee Ticks (@PaulLeeTicks) January 15, 2019
And of course, we can never forget that Donald Trump himself owns a steak house that is just a stone’s throw away from the White House.
I can't get over the fact he owns a restaurant only 0.7 miles walking distance away and this is what he fed them on his own dime. https://t.co/pS796W1gll
— Jennifer Hayden (@Scout_Finch) January 15, 2019
No joke! It’s 0.7 miles from the north entrance of the White House. About half that from the south side!
And, as is the case with nearly everything that comes out of his mouth, before the event was over, Trump had begun lying about the number of hamburgers he’d purchased.
I should note that, at one point tonight, President Trump said he bought 300 hamburgers. Later, he claimed he bought 1,000 hamburgers.
— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) January 15, 2019
As the players lined up for their cold hamburgers, one player can be heard saying, “I thought it was a joke.”
LISTEN CLOSELY: "I thought it was a joke," says Clemson athlete upon learning the White House was serving him Wendy's.pic.twitter.com/bRNRhLmDBF
— Ʀogue US Mint (@RogueUSMint) January 15, 2019
Congrats, Clemson? At least y’all will never forget it.