President of the United States and former Pizza Hut and McDonald’s pitchman Donald Trump welcomed the NCAA college football national champion Clemson Tigers to the White House Monday evening with a spread of “great American food”—McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Arby’s and Domino’s.
Trump was asked if he had a favorite among the fast food chains he chose for the dinner. The president diplomatically chose all of them.
“If it’s American, I like it. It’s all American Stuff,” Trump said in front of a table with a vast spread of Whoppers, Filet-O-Fish sandwiches and other fast food delicacies. The president estimated that there were over 300 hamburgers and “many, many french fries.”
Trump followed through on his plan to serve the national champion Tigers a collection of fast food, which he announced in a press gaggle on the White House South Lawn Monday morning.
President Trump Welcomes the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champions, the CLEMSON TIGERS, to the White Hou… https://t.co/ofjiDKj1tq— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 14, 2019
“I think we are going to serve McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger King with some pizza. I really mean it. It will be interesting. I would think that's their favorite food,” Trump said.
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders explained that the menu was chosen, in part, because White House catering staff have been furloughed without pay.
"Because the Democrats refuse to negotiate on border security, much of the residence staff at the White House is furloughed – so the President is personally paying for the event to be catered with some of everyone’s favorite fast foods,” Sanders said in a statement.
Trump is a well-known aficionado of fast-food dining, with Trump regularly eating meals from fast-food chains when he was on the campaign trail in 2016.
In their book “Let Trump Be Trump,” published last year, former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and campaign aide David Bossie said Trump’s McDonald’s order of choice was two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish sandwiches and a large chocolate shake.
Michael Wolff, author of the book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” claimed Trump’s McDonald’s fandom is tied to a fear of potentially being poisoned.
“[Trump] had a longtime fear of being poisoned, one reason why he liked to eat at McDonald's — nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely premade," Wolff wrote.
Trump himself lent credence to this theory, citing the commitment to the cleanliness of fast food chains like McDonald’s and Wendy’s in remarks at a 2016 town hall event.
"One bad hamburger, you can destroy McDonald's. One bad hamburger and you take Wendy's and all these other places and they're out of business," Trump said. "I like cleanliness, and I think you're better off going there than maybe someplace that you have no idea where the food is coming from."
Trump also posted multiple pictures of himself on his campaign plane preparing to eat meals from KFC and McDonald’s.
Great afternoon in Ohio & a great evening in Pennsylvania - departing now. See you tomorrow Virginia! pic.twitter.com/jQTQYBFpdb— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2016
In his January 2018 assessment of Trump’s health, former White House physician Ronny Jackson indicated Trump was “very healthy” but recommended Trump change his diet to eat better.
“He would benefit from a diet that is lower in fat and carbohydrates, and from a routine exercise regimen,” Jackson said.
ABC News' Devin Dwyer contributed reporting.