As shutdown bites, Trump foots bill for fast food feast

US President Donald Trump speaks in front of fast food provided for the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers due to the partial government shutdown in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, US, January 14, 2019.
PHOTO: Reuters

WASHINGTON - With White House residence staff among those hit by the United States government shutdown, President Donald Trump personally ordered in an "all American" feast of burgers and pizza on Monday (Jan 14) for a visiting football team.

"Because of the shutdown, as you know... we went out and we ordered American fast food paid for by me," he quipped, as he prepared to host the Clemson Tigers university players to celebrate their national championship win.

"I think they'd like it better than anything we could give," said Mr Trump after landing back at the White House following a day trip to New Orleans.

"We have pizzas, we have 300 hamburgers, many, many French fries, all of our favourite foods - I want to see what's here when we leave, because I don't think it's going to be much," he mused.

Asked to name his favourite fast food - as he stood smiling behind the gargantuan spread - Mr Trump demurred, insisting: "I like them all."

"If it's American, I like it. It's all American stuff."

"The reason we did this is because of the shutdown," he added. "We want to make sure that everything is right, so we sent out, we got this."

About 800,000 federal employees - including much of the White House residence staff - have been on mandatory leave or working without pay for 24 days as Mr Trump and Congress wrangle over funding for a wall on the southern border.