Well, we guess we missed this little tidbit amid the many, many personal and political scandals of Donald Trump.
The former (YAY!!!) president apparently had a “Diet Coke button” on his desk in the Oval Office — a button whose sole purpose was to summon a butler to bring him a glass of Diet Coke “on a silver platter.”
We’re hearing about the button now as folks are noticing in the first photos of newly inaugurated President Joe Biden at the Resolute Desk that the button is nowhere to be seen. That led Times Radio political commentator Tom Newton Dunn to recall:
President Biden has removed the Diet Coke button. When @ShippersUnbound and I interviewed Donald Trump in 2019, we became fascinated by what the little red button did. Eventually Trump pressed it, and a butler swiftly brought in a Diet Coke on a silver platter. It's gone now. pic.twitter.com/rFzhPaHYjk
— Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) January 21, 2021
While the existence of the button went viral on Thursday, this apparently was not new information. Trump showed off the button to reporters as far back as his first year in office.
He told Financial Times reporter Demetri Sevastopulo ominously in April 2017:
“Everyone does get a little nervous when I press that button.”
However, when he pressed it, missile silos didn’t open up, and the Secret Service didn’t rush in — all it did was summon the butler with the Diet Coke.
Now obviously having a call button is nothing new. Obviously President of the United States is a busy job, and the leader of the free world needs to on occasion reach out to his or her secretary for information or, yes, for food and drink.
But note what every story has in common. Nowhere is it mentioned that Trump orders a Diet Coke. He doesn’t speak to someone over an intercom system. No, he presses the button, and it’s always Diet Coke in a glass full of ice.
something you never saw during previous administration, soda on the Resolute desk pic.twitter.com/U7hZPbmWKE
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) January 28, 2017
That means Trump essentially turned the intercom into the type of button an animal might press to get a treat. Press button, get soda.
The existence of the button also bolsters one of the claims made about Trump in his first year in office — that he drank a shocking 12 cans of Diet Coke per day! Besides the startling caffeine intake, that high an amount of diet soda also put questions about the negative health effects of artificial sweetener in the spotlight for a hot second. After all, studies have shown strong correlation between consumption of diet soda and increased risk of dementia, something people legitimately worried about with Trump for completely separate reasons later in his presidency.
But then of course there were kids in cages, Charlottesville, the Mueller investigation, etc, etc, etc, and the Diet Coke crisis became a thing for past Americans to worry about.
Funny side note to all this though… Trump himself actually fat shamed people who drank Diet Coke specifically, tweeting back in 2012, before the all caps propaganda of his political career took over:
“I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke.”
There really is always a tweet, isn’t there?
[Image via WENN/Instar.]