The Clemson national championship football team visited the White House this week following their victory against the Alabama Crimson Tide, where they were treated to a fast food feast put together by President Donald Trump.
During the event on Monday, January 14, the president made a comment about the dinner spread that two CNN hosts labeled “sexist,” Newsweek reported — though a third did not see it the same way.
Speaking to the Clemson Tigers during their White House ceremony, President Trump explained his meal choice to the players amid the partial government shutdown.
“Do we have no food for you because we have the shutdown?” Trump asked. “Or do we give you some quick salads that the first lady will make, along with the second lady. They’ll make some salads.”
“And I said, you guys aren’t into salads. Or do I go out… and send out for about 1,000 hamburgers? Big Macs. So we actually did that,” he explained.
While the comment may have been meant in jest by the president, it sparked a debate on CNN host Erin Burnett’s program Erin Burnett OutFront. On the show, Burnett and fellow network host Joan Walsh labeled the quip “sexist” and “appalling.”
“It seems to me like the president will not be happy until there is not one single female Republican voter in the country,” Walsh said. “It’s incredibly sexist… We are not all here to make salads for men. It’s disgusting.”
Burnett agreed, noting that the president’s comment was a “clear” indication of the president’s true colors.
During the Clemson Tigers' visit to the White House after their College Football National Championship win, President Donald Trump joked about personally buying hamburgers for the players instead of having his wife, Melania Trump, make them salads. https://t.co/NkHYR8F9oB pic.twitter.com/6ToibgeabA
— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) January 15, 2019
The show’s third panelist, conservative commentator Scott Jennings, did not share the same opinion, however. Jennings, who served in the George W. Bush administration, said that while it was “fine” to perceive the comment as sexist, those that do are likely people that want to take everything that President Trump says “as being evil.”
“I think he was trying to make a joke about feeding hamburgers to football players. I think that you might be overreading this one,” he told Walsh and Burnett, who were in disbelief that he did not share the same opinion. They denied his claim that they were reading too much into what the president had said.
“I’m not overreading it. He made a joke that was sexist about women,” the CNN host responded, wondering instead if the disagreement was due to the whether or not the president’s humor should be taken seriously.
The debate continued for a few more seconds, but ultimately Jennings stuck to his view that the comment was not an indication of sexism from the president.