Instead of losing weight, as Jackson recommended, Trump slipped into clinical obesity. “The exercise stuff never took off as much as I wanted it to,” Jackson said. “But we were working on his diet. We were making the ice cream less accessible, we were putting cauliflower into the mashed potatoes.”
Hiding the ice cream, sure. But sneaking cauliflower into the mashed potatoes? Using the buttery starch as a Trojan Horse to sneak nutrition past the presidential defenses? This is genius.
In fact, Jackson may have happened upon a whole new way of getting the results we want out of Trump without all the fuss — through dining-table trickery. Think of the grief it could have avoided in India during Trump’s visit this week.
Trump’s two primary food groups are hamburger and steak, but most Indians object to eating cows. So Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a vegetarian, tried to get Trump to eat his peas — or, rather, his broccoli. During a visit to the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, Trump and his delegation were offered a no-meat menu that included fruits, chickpea flour cakes and, infamously, a “broccoli and corn button samosa.”
Big mistake. As a frequent Trump dining partner told CNN before the trip, “I have never seen him eat a vegetable.” Indians reacted in horror that their beloved samosa had been bastardized. And Trump didn’t so much as touch the food.
This international incident could have been avoided with some subterfuge in the kitchen. Modi could have had the samosas stuffed with Impossible Burger or another beef substitute — essentially a beef-flavored pill pocket, for people. Trump would have gobbled up the whole tray, none the wiser. Thus sated, he might even have signed off on a trade deal.
Trump aides have long used other forms of subterfuge to get what they want out of the president, as Post contributor Daniel W. Drezner details in his forthcoming book, “The Toddler in Chief.” Former economic adviser Gary Cohn once stole a letter from Trump’s desk withdrawing the U.S. from a trade agreement with South Korea so that Trump would forget about the letter, and the withdrawal. Cohn also once ended a phone call from Trump by telling him he was “brilliant” and faking a bad connection.
Former chief of staff Reince Priebus delayed Trump’s return trips from weekend golf trips so he would watch (and live-tweet) less cable news. National Security Council officials found that they could trick Trump into reading memos if they kept mentioning Trump’s name. And aides helped persuade him to attend the 2018 NATO summit in Brussels by scheduling time for him at his golf resort in Scotland.
Tinkering with the presidential diet opens a new range of possibilities.
Let’s say, to use a purely hypothetical example, that Trump has taken to attacking a federal judge, a federal jury forewoman, federal prosecutors and even his own attorney general because they haven’t been lenient enough toward one of Trump’s convicted pals.
White House chefs, under the White House physician’s careful supervision, could sneak large amounts of ground turkey — known to be high in calm-inducing tryptophan — into the president’s morning sausages, his lunchtime taco bowls, his afternoon burgers and his meatloaf dinner.
Continuing our hypothetical, let’s say the president’s mood does not sufficiently improve. He begins purging the intelligence community of anybody who has not provided a notarized statement of loyalty to him. At this point, the surreptitious nutrition team might inject megadoses of high-fructose corn syrup into pastries, pizzas, hamburger buns, cakes and pies. After a brief sugar high, Trump would become lethargic, unable to complete the purge.
In a final hypothetical, let’s imagine public-health officials warn Americans to prepare for a dangerous virus, but Trump can’t even spell the name of the virus, and he sides with an economic adviser (one who predicted a “recovery” seven weeks before the crash of 2008) who says “we have contained this.” Even Republican lawmakers are dismayed.
So the Culinary Intervention Agency takes covert action. Highly trained nutritionists load the presidential Filet-O-Fish with capsaicin, a chili-pepper extract. The meal results in a coughing fit, and the germophobic president, convinced he has the unspellable virus, demands a multibillion-dollar mobilization.
The nation is saved — by stealth cuisine.
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