As a reward for their thumping of Alabama during the College Football Playoff National Championship last week, the Clemson Tigers got a fast food buffet from President Donald Trump during their visit to the White House.
"I think that would be their favorite food, so we'll see what happens," Trump added.
Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley blamed the ongoing government shutdown for the buffet, pointing out that the White House executive residence staff was furloughed. Typically, the staff is responsible for catering events like these.
"The President wanted to host a fun event to celebrate the College Football National Champion Clemson Tigers," Gidley said in a statement. "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."
Trump later told reporters he paid for the fast food dinner himself.
"Because of the shutdown, you know we have the great Clemson team with us, the national champions. So we went out and we ordered American fast food, paid for by me. Lots of hamburgers, lots of pizza," the president said. "We have some very large people that like eating. So I think we're going to have a little fun."
The buffet included pizza, salads, Big Macs, chicken nuggets and Filet-o-Fish sandwiches.
State Dining Room laden with burgers, fries, pizza and even some salads, for Clemson Tigers reception. pic.twitter.com/ewyCUMVqZn— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) January 14, 2019
"If it's American, I like it. It's all American stuff," Trump said. "300 hamburgers, many, many french fries -- all of our favorite foods."
Monday was the 24th day of the partial government shutdown, now the longest in American history. The shutdown began after Trump refused to sign a budget if it was passed by Congress without money for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. In a series of tweets Monday morning, Trump complained about Democrats not moving on the issue, although Republicans had control of both houses of Congress when the shutdown began late last month.