By Andrew Malekoff
During her June 28 bombshell testimony to the U.S. House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson disclosed that then President Donald Trump threw a porcelain plate of ketchup-drenched food against the wall.
The President’s Dining Room is situated in the northwest corner of the second floor of the White House and offers a splendid a view of the North Lawn. Meals are served by a dumbwaiter, not to be confused with former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
According to Hutchinson, whose office was in close proximity to the Oval Office and dining room, the former president had a particularly florid meltdown while watching then Attorney General William Barr on TV. Barr revealed that he found no evidence of voter fraud sufficient to change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
A valet invited Ms. Hutchinson into the dining room following the election-challenged Trump’s temper tantrum. Valets assigned to the Oval Office are on call to provide whatever the president requests such as food, drink or anything else he might require, including cleanups on aisle 45.
Hutchinson testified that she proceeded to assist the valet by wiping up the “ketchup dripping down the wall.”
Despite my research, I was unable to find evidence of any other U.S. presidents who threw plates of food when angered. All that came up (no pun intended) in my search, was an incident on Jan. 8, 1992 at a banquet hosted by the Prime Minister of Japan. President George H.W. Bush vomited in the PM’s lap. It appears to have been involuntary and not an expression of acute anger.
There has been growing interest about what Trump was eating that was so covered in ketchup. Some have speculated that it was tater tots. However, it was more likely a hamburger, meatloaf sandwich or well-done steak saturated in the former president’s favorite condiment.
“It’s no secret that the fast-food-loving ex-president’s condiment of choice is ketchup,” reports Washingtonian magazine reporter Jessica Sidman. “Lesser known,” Sidman added, “Trump may, possibly, be a distant relative of the Heinz family.”
According to a “Standard Operating Procedure” document obtained by the Washingtonian, “the president’s server was to open mini glass bottles of Heinz in front of him, taking care to ensure he could hear the seal make the “pop” sound.”
Of greater concern than his choice of food, though, is what Trump does with it when angered.
On the TEAM 4 Kids Pediatric Therapy dashboard, a blog post addresses the issue of throwing food and offers tips for a “less stressful meal and cleanup.”
The blog begins by explaining that as toddlers grow they will take steps toward asserting their independence. And as a result of their limited communication skills, throwing their food may be one way of saying something that they cannot yet effectively articulate.
The blog goes on to offer three tips that White House valets might jot down in the event that man child Trump returns to the White House in 2025. Following are the slightly annotated tips:
(1). Pick a designated plastic bowl to serve as a “done bowl.” Plastic might be a better choice than porcelain for Mr. Trump. Place this close to the mealtime plate or tray and allow him the opportunity to determine when he is done with food by placing it into the “done bowl” rather than throwing it against the wall.
(2). To stop the entire plate of food from hitting the floor or wall, use a toddler suction plate or bowl that will adhere to the table top. This, of course, will require dispensing with the customary White House tablecloth in order to optimize suction.
(3). Managing portion size on the plate will not only eliminate the size of the mess that could end up on the floor or wall, but by offering small and manageable serving sizes you will help him to not be overwhelmed by the task at hand. Even a Big Mac, for instance, is less visually threatening when it is cut into smaller sections.
I might add to these useful tips that Mr. Trump keep the TV switched off during mealtimes. Especially the news. Stress can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, which could lead to bowel urgency and food hurling hissy fits.
If watching TV is a non-starter, lighter fare such as reruns of “The Golden Girls” is highly recommended.