National Champion Clemson Tigers Visit President Trump at White House

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2019

US President Donald Trump speaks alongside fast food he purchased for a ceremony honoring the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, January 14, 2019. - Trump says the White House chefs are furloughed due to the partial government shutdown. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/Getty Images

The Clemson Tigers didn't exactly dine like kings when they visited the White House on Monday to celebrate their victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Some fans were left puzzled earlier in the day when Trump told reporters he would provide "McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King with some pizza" for the players in attendance, per CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Liz Stark.

True to Trump's word, the White House laid out an array of fast foods:

The Daily Beast's Timothy Burke noted the Tigers coaching staff may not have been happy with the meal given how seriously the program takes the diets of its players. Clemson hired a dedicated executive performance chef in 2017.

USA Today's Paul Myerberg thought Trump's biggest mistake was his choice of food providers:

Others on social media had fun with the surreal scene:

Upon speaking to the assembled crowd, Trump made known his desire to represent Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence at the next level.

"I want to be the agent of that tall, handsome quarterback," the president said, per Yahoo News' Hunter Walker.

Lawrence threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Alabama, and many expect the 6'6", 215-pounder to be a high pick in the 2021 draft, the first year he'll be eligible to head to the NFL.

According to USA Today's Tom Schad, Trump also said Clemson "inspired America" with its national championship run.

Since Ronald Reagan's presidency, the White House visit has been a staple for championship teams in both the professional and college realms. The tradition has become less regular during Trump's time in office.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James famously called Trump a "bum" when Trump rescinded an invitation to the Golden State Warriors to celebrate their 2016-17 NBA championship. Warriors star Stephen Curry had said he wasn't looking forward to a trip to the White House.

Trump used a similar tactic in June with regard to the Philadelphia Eagles. He said in a statement the Eagles "disagree with their president because he insists that they proudly stand for the national anthem."

According to ESPN.com's Don Van Natta Jr., "five or fewer" Eagles would've attended the event if it had gone on as planned.

The World Series champion Boston Red Sox accepted an invitation from the White House in December after they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Fall Classic. The team has yet to lock down a date to travel to the nation's capital.

The Red Sox might be having second thoughts after checking out Monday's spread.

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