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WaPo ‘Fact Check’: Trump Did Not Pile Burgers ‘One Mile High’ as He Promised Clemson

The paper’s fact checker spent more than 1,200 words investigating Trump’s fast food spread

The White House announced Monday that “because the Democrats refuse to negotiate on border security” and “much of the residence staff at the White House is furloughed” the Clemson University football team, which just won the NCAA national championship and was coming to meet the president — would instead enjoy “some of everyone’s favorite fast foods,” which President Trump would personally pay for. 

After the spread was laid out — including food from McDonalds, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Dominoe’s — Trump told reporters:

“We have the national champion team, as you know, Clemson Tigers, and they had a fantastic game against Alabama, and they’re all here, they’re right outside the room. And I think we’re going to let you see them, but I’ll bet you, as much food as we have, we have pizzas, we have 300 hamburgers, may, many French fries, all of our favorite foods. I want to see what’s here when we leave, because I don’t think it’s going to be much.” [Video]

Not so, a Washington Post’s “fact check,” reported. The Post’s Philip Bump published a 1,200 word opus taking apart the fast food spread in excruciatingly mundane detail, including that only “177” of the 319 sandwiches were in fact hamburgers. “Perhaps Trump’s ‘300’ hamburgers figure referred to all of the sandwiches,” Bump writes, “or perhaps they weren’t all put out at the outset.”

Bump’s article even included a detailed graphic showing how the food was organized:

It may seem like a joke — a parody of self-righteous fact checkers who squabble over subjective details — but at no point does Bump let on that he’s just kidding.

The lengthy analysis then gets even more preposterous, “debunking” a later Trump comment that he bought “1,000” burgers and they were “piled up a mile high.” 

Bump also calculated exactly how much Trump likely spent ($2,911.44), how many calories the food amounted to (310,000), the total grams of fat (16,000), and whether it was enough calories for a football team (yes, so long as this isn’t their only meal of the day).

Despite the seemingly scholarly approach Bump employs, he admits he’s doing a lot of guesswork: “The calculations below assume that the Wendy’s burgers are all doubles, that the chicken sandwiches are Wendy’s spicy chicken and that the salads are the Southwest (McDonald’s) and full BBQ Ranch Chicken (Wendy’s). The pizzas we figured were Domino’s Favorite Feast.”

With so many assumptions cooked into this “fact check,” it’s hard to know who to trust. 

An anxious nation awaits further detail.

(Hat tip to Stephen Miller.)

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