A History of Donald Trump's Confused Understanding of Diet Coke, His 'Garbage' Beverage of Choice

Donald Trump
Donald Trump's administration has delayed a rule allowing foreign investors and entrepreneurs to enter the country more easily. Thomas Lohnes/Getty

Donald Trump, the president of the United States, is not regarded as a man of great discipline. He has said, infamously, how he can't help but "just start kissing" beautiful women. He tweets early in the morning, seemingly impulsively, often directly in response to cable television and often to the chagrin of his staff. The president also can't stop drinking Diet Coke, which he called "garbage" while firing off a series of tweets about the beverage in 2012. At the G20 summit on Thursday, a bottle of his favorite soda spotted tucked against the side of Trump's chair.

Trump 'I've never seen a thin person drink diet coke' turns up to G20 with a diet coke, which he tries to hide pic.twitter.com/CnThlv3Uqp

— Felicity Morse (@FelicityMorse) July 7, 2017

Trump is someone for whom physical appearance matters a great deal, so it would stand to reason that if Diet Coke is "garbage," he might cease consuming it in order to avoid becoming overweight. The president can't seem to help himself, though, and it's possibly because he is dubious that soda is as bad for a person's health as experts say it is. Let's venture back to 2012, when Trump very publicly wrestled with the idea of how something labeled "diet" might not result in weight loss.

Related: Why is Trump keeping our Western allies at arm's length?

On October 12, Trump made an observation:

I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2012

Three days later, he asked a question based on this observation:

The more Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, etc you drink, the more weight you gain?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2012

After a day's consideration, Trump seemed to have acknowledged that Diet Coke does not "work."

Diet Coke tweet had a monster response--dammit, I wish the stuff worked.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2012

Based on his findings, Trump resolved to continue drinking diet soda.

The Coca Cola company is not happy with me--that's okay, I'll still keep drinking that garbage.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2012

Nearly a week later, the issue still weighed on Trump's mind. After six days of consideration, he was able to work out that Diet Coke not only doesn't help you lose weight, it encourages you to eat more.

I once again feel obligated to remind you that this man is now the president of the United States.

People are going crazy with my comments on Diet Coke (soda). Let's face it--this stuff just doesn't work. It makes you hungry.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2012

This concluded what is essentially Trump's version of the scientific method. There was an observation (look at that fat man with a Diet Coke in his hand), a question (maybe Diet Coke is what made that man fat?), research (looking at Twitter replies), a hypothesis (Diet Coke does't "work"), an experiment (continue to drink Diet Coke), an affirmation of the hypothesis (I have not lost weight after continuing to drink Diet Coke), a conclusion (Diet Coke actually makes you hungry!) and a report of his findings (tweets).

Executing this process also appears to represent the closest Trump has come to engaging with the idea of "science," which he has developed a reputation for shunning even on its most basic levels. In May. it was revealed that the president does not believe exercise is good for a person's health, and that humans are born with a finite amount of energy that working out only depletes. Considering this position, as well as his fast food-heavy diet, Trump's ability to come to the conclusion that soda is not healthy should be worthy of commendation.

If he wasn't the healthiest president to ever take office, Trump's persistence in guzzling the vile garbage soda might be cause for concern. But according to this man, Trump is the healthiest president ever, and if he's been drinking Diet Coke his whole life, why wouldn't he continue to let that sweet, sugar-brown liquid flow? So much does Trump love his Diet Coke that he even had a button installed in the Oval Office so he can have it delivered to him at a moment's notice.

In April, Slate compiled a few of the times the president's emergency Coke button has been mentioned in the press.

From Financial Times:

Sitting across from Donald Trump in the Oval Office, my eyes are drawn to a little red button on a box that sits on his desk. "This isn't the nuclear button, is it?" I joke, pointing. "No, no, everyone thinks it is," Trump says on cue, before leaning over and pressing it to order some Cokes. "Everyone does get a little nervous when I press that button."

From the Associated Press:

A man accustomed to wealth and its trappings, Trump has embraced life in the Executive Mansion, often regaling guests with trivia about the historic decor. With the push of a red button placed on the Resolute Desk that presidents have used for decades, a White House butler soon arrived with a Coke for the president.

From Reuters:

Trump, sipping a Coke delivered by an aide after the president ordered it by pressing a button on his desk, appeared to rebuff an overture from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who told Reuters a direct phone call with Trump could take place again after their first conversation in early December angered Beijing.

Once more for good measure, I will remind you that this man is the president of the United States.

Editor's Picks

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts