1. ITV Report

Burgers and fries on White House menu as Trump lays on fast food feast

The scent of burgers and fries has wafted through the White House as US President Donald Trump laid on a fast food feast for a champion college American football team.

Mr Trump, a fast food lover, said he even paid for the meals himself because of the partial government shutdown, but did not disclose the bill.

Twitter users were quick to point out serving fast food to an elite sports team is a little strange.

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“We ordered American fast food, paid for by me. Lots of hamburgers, lots of pizza,” Mr Trump said after returning to the White House from a trip to New Orleans.

The president, who was hosting a reception for the Clemson Tigers after they won the national championship, said: “We have some very large people that like eating, so I think we’re going to have a little fun.”

Guests attending a reception for the Clemson Tigers help themselves to fast food in the State Dining Room of the White House Credit: Susan Walsh/AP

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said many of the staff in the White House residence are absent because of the shutdown, “so the president is personally paying for the event to be catered with some of everyone’s favourite fast foods”.

An impressive – and highly unusual – White House smorgasbord greeted the players.

The food went down a treat with guests Credit: Susan Walsh/AP

Silver trays held stacks of wrapped burgers from Wendy’s.

Also on offer were boxed burgers from McDonald’s, including Big Macs.

The tables were full of fast food Credit: Susan Walsh/AP

White House cups bearing the presidential seal held the fries.

Pizzas, some topped with olives and tomatoes, were also on the menu.

Silver bowls held the condiments, and stacks of white plates sat nearby.

Mr Trump paid for the food himself Credit: Susan Walsh/AP

Several young men were spotted eating multiple burgers at the stand-up tables dotting the East Room.

The Clemson team’s visit is its second since Mr Trump took office.

The Tigers last visited in June 2017 after their championship run the previous season.

Invited guests enjoy the fare at a table in the East Room Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has hailed this season’s undefeated Tigers as the best college team ever.

Mr Trump called them a “great team, an unbelievable team”.

The president has routinely sparred with professional athletes during his two years in office.

The president shows off the table full of fast food Credit: Susan Walsh/AP

College football has managed to avoid such political controversies, with last year’s champions Alabama also visiting the White House.