The list of President Donald Trump's broken campaign promises is surprisingly long for a leader who's only been in office a little more than two months. Since becoming president, Trump has decided not to follow through with promises to immediately replace Obamacare, rarely leave the White House, or appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton. Recently, however, Trump broke one of his weirdest campaign promises: to feed Chinese President Xi Jinping a McDonald's Big Mac.
When Trump sat down with Chinese President Xi at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on Thursday for the leaders' first ever dinner together, the menu included succulent entree options like pan-seared Dover sole in champagne sauce with herb-roasted new potatoes and Thumbelina carrots or dry aged prime New York strip steak with whipped potatoes and roasted root vegetables.
Conspicuously absent from the menu was the McDonald's hamburger Trump had promised he'd feed China's leader when criticizing his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, for welcoming Xi with a state dinner at the White House.
"I would not be throwing him a dinner," Trump told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly in an interview in August 2015. "I would get him a McDonald's hamburger and say we've got to get down to work because you can't continue to devalue [the Chinese currency]." Trump went on to imply he felt Xi did not deserve a fancy state dinner because China did not care about the American people or American businesses. "You know we'll give him a state dinner and what he's done is suck all of our jobs, he's sucked the money right out of our country," he said. "They want our people to starve. They're taking our business away. They've taken our jobs away."
"You would be confrontational with the Chinese?" O'Reilly asked. "You'd say, 'Look, I'm not giving you a dinner, here's a Big Mac.' I mean really? Is that what you're going to do?"
"Yeah, but I would give him a double, probably a double-size Big Mac," Trump said.
It was an idea Trump had also reportedly mentioned while speaking at a campaign rally in South Carolina in July 2015. "Just take them to McDonald’s and go back to the negotiating table," he said at the time, as Politico reported.
More important than what was on the menu for Trump's first dinner with Chinese President Xi, however, was what was up for discussion. While Trump has long promised to negotiate "better" trade deals with China, the president is also expected to tackle North Korea and the climate deal Xi made with President Obama.