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As shutdown bites, Trump foots bill for fast food feast

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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

[WASHINGTON] With White House residence staff among those hit by the US government shutdown, Donald Trump personally ordered in an "all American" feast of burgers and pizza on Monday 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," the president 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 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 favorite foods -- I want to see what's here when we leave, because I don't think it's going to be much," the president mused.

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Asked to name his own favorite fast food -- as he stood smiling behind the gargantuan spread -- 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."

Around 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 Donald Trump and Congress wrangle over funding for a wall on the southern border.

AFP