Donald Trump is known for a lot of things: his towers, his stint on reality television, his politics. But he is best known as the 45th president of the United States. Another thing you might know about him is that he likes fast food – as if he really likes it.
According to Corey Lewandowski (via Business Insider), co-author of Let Trump Be Trump
However, Trump recently
But how did this obsession begin and why was it carried all the way to the presidency? This is the real reason why Trump is so obsessed with fast food.
He thinks it makes him more relatable
When Donald Trump first announced he was going to fight for the presidency, many were surprised at the amount of support that came from working-class communities. Why would so many American Americans support a billionaire from New York as their candidate?
Well, according to Russ Schriefer (through The New York Times), a republican strategist and an advertising maker, Trumps affection for fast food is one of the strategies he uses to make him more relatable to the masses. “There is nothing more American and more of the people than fast food,” he says. “It is the peculiarity of the brand that he is able to be on his million-dollar hunter with the golden and black branding and colors while eating KFC – and what makes it perfect is that he does it all with a knife and fork , while reading The Wall Street Journal. “
Even Kellyanne Conway has claimed that “it matches his authenticity … I don’t think Hillary would eat Clinton Popeye’s cookies and fried chicken.”
And that line of thought was still valid after he was chosen. According to a former White House communication director, Anthony Scaramucci, his fast-food habit made him better able to identify with people in lower-income groups. When a BBC reporter asked Scaramucci, “What part of Trump is not an elite?” his answer was, “Oh my god, there are so many things about the president, what about the cheeseburgers, how about the pizzas we eat?”
Well then …
He’s afraid of being poisoned
Given Trump’s divisive politics and position in the government, it is not surprising that he would be careful where he gets his food. As one of the richest men in the world, he should have no problem hiring a personal chef who can satisfy his taste. However, instead of doing this, he has decided that the better alternative is to eat fast food for almost every meal.
Michael Wolff, author of Fire and Fury: In the Trump White House, Trump writes that “he had long been afraid of being poisoned, a reason why he liked to eat at McDonald’s.” Nobody knew he was coming and the food was used safely. “In his book (via Business Insider), Wolff makes it clear that this fear and related eating habits were part of Trump’s life long before he reached one of the most powerful positions in the world. The irony has certainly been lost at the president – to prevent he gets poisoned, he eats fast food every day … a habit that will slowly poison him.
He thinks fast food restaurants are cleaner
In June 2018, the White House Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was kicked out of a restaurant in Lexington, Virginia because of her relationship with President Trump. After the incident reached the headlines, Trump tweeted his support for Sanders by claiming that the restaurant should focus more on cleaning their “filthy canopies, doors and windows (needs a paint job)” than refusing people like Sanders to operate. “I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!” he added.
It seems that this concern about the cleanliness of restaurants is another reason why Trump is so obsessed with fast food – he thinks their locations are cleaner due to regulations from business leaders. Trump even praised fast food restaurants for their cleanliness at a 2016 presidential town hall in South Carolina. “A bad hamburger, you can destroy McDonald’s. A bad hamburger and you take Wendy’s and all those other places and they are bankrupt. I like cleanliness and I think you better go there than maybe somewhere where you are no idea where the food comes from, “Trump said.
He’s a germaphobe
It appears that Trump’s preference for clean restaurants is not only a preference, but also a necessity. He is an important germaphobic. In his own book from 1997, The Art of the Comeback (via New York Mag), he confesses: “One of the curses of American society is the simple act of shaking hands, and the more successful and famous the worse it becomes terrible habit seems I happen to be a clean hand freak. I feel much better after I have washed my hands thoroughly, which I do as much as possible. “
Trump, who even called himself “very a germaphobic”, once admitted through Howard News (via Newsweek) that “it could be a psychological problem.” He also claims that he prefers to drink with a straw in case the glass is contaminated (perhaps he does not realize that he is still drinking the liquid from that glass?).
Because restaurants of all kinds are often a hotspot for germs, it makes sense that he prefers fast food, which he finds cleaner. As a bonus, he can take it away to eat in his own clean room instead of on the germ-infected tabletops.
His habit got worse on the campaign trail
It’s no secret that life on the campaign track is rough. Between all the driving through the country, giving speeches, attending events and kissing babies, it’s hard to find time to eat a nutritious meal. Even the press orchestra of Mitt Romney coined the term “lunchtime” or second lunch during his campaign in 2012. The Trump campaign was clearly no exception to this common phenomenon, with tight schedules that sometimes made fast food a necessity. However, since Trump was already a frequent fast-food eater, the fact that he was on the campaign path only made his habit worse.
According to former campaigners Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie in their book Let Trump Be Trump (via The Washington Post), Trump Force One had four major food groups: “McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza and diet coke”. They also wrote that “orchestrating and timing Mr. Trump’s meals was just as important as every other aspect of his march to the presidency,” and addressed the great effort they had to make to make it hot. fast food arrived on the plane exactly as it was expected.
He doesn’t trust the White House staff
Trump does not trust his fear of being poisoned by restaurant staff, but also his own staff. According to Michael Wolff’s all-encompassing book (via HuffPost), Trump’s fear of poisoning and contagion, intentionally or unintentionally, led to “new rules” that White House staff ordered to follow. The rules include staff who are forbidden to touch his toothbrush and other personal items. Trump even said in an interview with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes that he does not “trust everyone in the White House”. Could that include the kitchen staff? If so, this may be a reason behind his continuing love for the Golden Arches.
Although Trump is not the first president to have a phobia or two, this phobia is perhaps more related to paranoia. It also doesn’t help that the first lady, Melania, has also noted that she doesn’t trust anyone in the White House either. In an interview with ABC News, when she was asked if there were people in the White House she distrusted, Mrs. Trump replied: “Yes … Well, some people, they no longer work there.” She added, “You always have to watch your back.”
He just doesn’t like fancy food
As one of the richest men in the world, it’s a mystery why Trump would want to eat at some of the country’s cheapest restaurant chains. As discussed earlier, there are several factors at work, but this simplest one is probably the fact that Trump simply does not like luxury food. This is especially surprising when you look at the background of Trump. As a man born and raised in New York, it’s hard to see him as something other than a foodie. But that’s just not the case with Trump.
For his first restaurant dinner as President of the United States, Trump decided to go to a steak house in Washington, D.C. called BLT Prime by David Burke – who happens to be in a Trump Tower. According to The Washington Post, Trump ordered a steak, well cooked, served with ketchup. If you know anything about steaks, you probably know that almost every chef who is worth his salt will recommend cooking most steaks to medium-red. He is also known for eating simple dishes such as spaghetti and meatloaf.
You could even say he has the taste buds of a child … and fast food is certainly good for feeding hungry toddlers.
He tries to make it “healthier”
It’s hard to say why Donald Trump thinks he can continue to eat this way and has no side effects. Perhaps it is because he seems to justify his terrible eating habits by making small adjustments to his meals to make them ‘healthier’.
For example, he always chooses to drink Diet Coke instead of regular cola as a healthier alternative. However, studies have shown that although Diet Coke contains fewer calories because it uses artificial sweeteners, it can still cause other health risks – and who knows how much it really helps if he drinks 12 cans a day. He may find adding a diet juice to that fast food order not so bad, but it doesn’t work that way.
Allegedly he also skips the sandwich when he eats fast food sandwiches, which may be the reason he orders so many. Nevertheless, that habit does not favor him – he may cut carbohydrates, but he still consumes an astonishing amount of calories, fat and sugar.
In the same way, Trump says he only eats pizza toppings and avoids the dough, but a meal with cheese, sauce and pepperoni can’t be much healthier than a tasty piece of pie, right?
He loved fast food long before he was president
If you have ever watched commercial television in the 90s, you are all too familiar with Donald Trump’s fascination with fast food. Long before he even thought of a presidential bid, he appeared in commercials and promoted fast food chains. In a Pizza Hut commercial from 1995, Trump appears three years after their divorce with his ex-wife Ivana. In the commercial, the two discuss doing something wrong that ‘feels good’. Of course it is wrong to eat the pizza crust first.
Later, in 2002, he also appeared in a commercial for McDonald’s’ Dollar Menu. In the commercial, Trump tells Grimace, the restaurant’s purple mascot: “I’ve put together some really impressive deals, but this thing you’ve done is great.”
And his love of fast food for his old school was not just for paid TV spots. According to a story told to Vogue by Donatella Versace, he was also a fan in real life. Versace said that in 1995 Trump apparently tried to convince Versace, Madonna and other models (all who followed a strict diet) to share a bucket of KFC with him while they were filming at Mar-a-Lago, a Palm Beach estate owned by Trump. Hey, at least he tried to share it!
He appears to be making some changes
According to a 2018 report from Bloomberg, “Trump weighed obese in borderline on his first presidential physical in January … At 239 pounds and 6 feet, 3 inches long, Trump measured only one pound under obese under guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention. ” After the investigation, his doctor advised him to shorten his fast-food habit, and early reports suggested that he took it seriously, enjoyed more salads and fewer hamburgers, but still indulged occasionally. We certainly cannot ignore him.
Since then, few reports have been published about what the president is actually eating and whether he is following the recommended dietary guidelines. We will have to wait until his next check-up to see if he is still listening to a doctor’s order … or if his fast-food habit is still strong.