It turns out that not everyone was so quick to bemoan the White House’s “fast food banquet” when President Trump treated a roomful of college football national champions, the Clemson Tigers, to “1,000 hamburgers” out of his own pocket.
Quite the contrary, Clemson star quarterback Trevor Lawrence couldn’t get enough McDonald’s Big Macs, fries, and pizza, and says that he “wants to do it again.”
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 15, 2019
“It was awesome. We had McDonald’s and everything. It was good!” Lawrence told TMZ Sports enthusiastically after the event. When asked how many more times he’d like to come back, he added, “Hopefully, a few more!”
The up-and-coming freshman QB had led the tigers to their national championship win on Jan. 7.
Meanwhile, Clemson defensive player and development coach Miguel Chavis also put in his two cents in a post on Facebook:
“Proud to be an American and a member of the National Championship football team, the Clemson University Tigers today. I can’t believe this boy from Fayetteville, NC got to eat McDonald’s with his wife and some of his closest friends in the White House. There’s enough hate and division in the world, especially when it comes to politics. The team loved it. The families loved it, and everyone was so hospitable and welcoming in the White House. It’s a pretty cool tradition that the National Champions get to visit the White House. I don’t know if I will ever get that experience again but I’m blessed to experience it at least once!
“People can politicize anything. Today and tonight wasn’t about politics, political parties, presidents or what divides us. Tonight was about a group of young men being honored for their extraordinary feat and their unbelievable character. Congrats boys; y’all deserve it!
“Go Tigers and Go America!”
Proud to be an American and a member of the National Championship football team, the Clemson University Tigers today. I…
Despite the President’s hospitality, though, many on Twitter, on late-night television, and in other media were less enthused—bouncing terms like “cheapskate” and “McDonald Trump” around on social media to describe the gesture from the White House.
Some in the media called the whole episode a “propaganda” stunt by the administration meant to draw attention to the government shutdown—which has become the longest shutdown now in American history.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had stated that the President’s choice of menu was due to the fact that much of the White House’s staff is furloughed as a result of the shutdown, adding that “the president is personally paying for the event to be catered with some of everyone’s favorite fast foods.”
Anyone who declares Donald Trump's celebratory meal with the Clemson Tigers a failure is sadly mistaken. This photo alone, from a smiling President to the Abraham Lincoln painting to miles and miles of fast food, is brilliant. pic.twitter.com/Ozut4Q05Zm
— Michael Taube (@michaeltaube) January 15, 2019
The Clemson quarterback wasn’t the only one to express his appreciation for the fast food dinner at the White House, though. Ottawa Citizen columnist Michael Taube also expressed admiration for the event, tweeting out:
“Anyone who declares Donald Trump’s celebratory meal with the Clemson Tigers a failure is sadly mistaken. This photo alone, from a smiling President to the Abraham Lincoln painting to miles and miles of fast food, is brilliant.”
Meanwhile, Lizzie Jamieson tweeted, “This is the most American thing to ever occur.”
Texas radio host Ken Webster took the opportunity to burn critics of the event by tweeting, “Trump would like to apologize to all the liberals offended by the Clemson Tigers dinner by treating them to a hot meal at Chick-Fil-A.”
This is the most American thing to ever occur.
(McDonald Trump feeds the Clemson Tigers 300 Big Macs.) pic.twitter.com/CwqmVxAQAL
— Lizzy Jamieson (@diamonddarkwood) January 15, 2019
Trump would like to apologize to all the liberals offended by the Clemson Tigers dinner by treating them to a hot meal at Chick-Fil-A. pic.twitter.com/YE2JHt5pRc
— Ken Webster Jr (@ProducerKen) January 15, 2019
Trump, meanwhile, who is a huge fan of fast food himself, had said he wanted the meal to be “a little fun” after he returned from a trip to New Orleans.
During the gathering on Monday, he announced to his guests the reasoning behind the fast food choice:
“So I had a choice. Do we have no food for you? Because we have a shutdown, or do we give you some little quick salads that the first lady will make, along with—along with the second lady, they’ll make some salads. And I said, ‘You guys aren’t into salads’ […]
“Burger King—all-America companies—Wendy’s, and McDonald’s”
Then, on Tuesday morning, he tweeted:
“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 hamberders [sic] etc. Within one hour, it was all gone. Great guys and big eaters!”
Good American food, good American dude.
— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) January 16, 2019
As for the Clemson QB, this could be the first of many more White House visits, according to Trump (if the winning keeps up). ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit says that Lawrence’s ability to “not make mental mistakes” when plays get “up-tempo” makes him “a once-in-a-generation type of guy,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
But besides football, the future football “legend” says that his Christian belief comes first.
“Football’s important to me, but it’s not my life,” he told the Clemson Insider. “It’s not the biggest thing in my life. My faith is. That just comes from kind of knowing who I am outside of that. I just know, no matter how big the situation is, it is not really going to define me … I put my identity in what Christ says, who He thinks I am and who I know that He says I am.”