On Thursday, as U.S. President Joe Biden settled into the Oval Office the day after his inauguration, a viral tweet claiming the newly-elected president had removed a "Diet Coke button" from the Oval Office, leaving many questioning whether former president Donald Trump had a diet coke button on his Resolute Desk
In the tweet, posted by Tom Newton Dunn, he claimed that during an interview in 2019 he became "fascinated" after Trump pressed a red button on his desk to have a butler bring him a Diet Coke on a silver platter.
Is it True?
Trump's soda-summoning button first grabbed headlines in April 2017, when news outlets published articles about his first 100 days in office. At the time, reports stated that the button, when pressed, summoned a regular "Coke" for the president.
"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," reads an excerpt from an Associated Press article authored by reporter Julie Pace.
Demetri Sevastopulo also mentioned the button in an article for the 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."
Former Trump administration communications aide Cliff Sims also cited the "Diet coke button" in a passage from his White House memoir, "Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House." Sims was describing a meeting between Trump and Housing Secretary Ben Carson when he wrote:
"Trump glanced around the room. At some point he noted his Diet Coke was nearly gone and went back to his button routine, but his heart wasn't quite in it this time. 'People always wonder about this button,' he told a confused Carson. Finally, he pressed it again. Diet Coke arrived and Trump was done."
Trump Consumed 12 Diet Cokes in a Day
Although initial reports noted that this button summoned Cokes, not Diet Cokes, Trump has been known to have a liking for Coca-Cola's low-calorie offering. In December 2017, the New York Times reported that Trump would consume as many as 12 Diet Cokes in a day.
"Watching cable, he shares thoughts with anyone in the room, even the household staff he summons via a button for lunch or for one of the dozen Diet Cokes he consumes each day," the report noted.
While we still do have a few questions about how this button actually worked or whether it could be used to order a variety of beverages, we can confirm that Trump did, in fact, have a button in the Oval Office that he used to order Diet Cokes.