Online sleuths spot a Coca-Cola bottle in Trump's office mere days after he called for a boycott

Trump called for a Coca-Cola boycott after the soda manufacturer spoke out against Georgia's restrictive voting law

By Ashlie D. Stevens

Food Editor

Published April 6, 2021 6:38PM (EDT)

President Donald Trump delivers remarks in support of farmers and ranchers in the Roosevelt Room at the White House May 23, 2019 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump delivers remarks in support of farmers and ranchers in the Roosevelt Room at the White House May 23, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Online sleuths closely analyzed a photo of former President Donald Trump on Monday that had been posted on social media by his White House adviser Stephen Miller. And they did so with the intensity of cable crime show characters who scream, "Enhance, enhance!" as they zoom in on an image of a suspect's license plate. Ultimately, they found what they were looking for: the trademark contoured shape of a Coke bottle, decorated with a flash of red, peeking out from behind the telephone in the Trump's Mar-a-Lago office. 

Trump released a statement only days prior urging conservatives to boycott Coca-Cola and other major companies — including Delta Airlines, Major League Baseball (MLB), UPS and ViacomCBS — whose leaders had spoken out against Georgia's restrictive voting law. Among other things, the legislation makes it a crime to bring food and water to voters who are waiting to cast their ballots.

RELATED: Trump's self-destructive diet: Psychiatrist says unhealthy food choices may affect his mental health

"It is finally time for Republicans and Conservatives to fight back—we have more people than they do—by far!" said the statement, which was distributed by Trump's former legal advisor Jenna Ellis on Twitter. "Don't go back to their products until they relent. We can play the game better than them."

It apparently took less than 72 hours (if that) for Trump to relent, or as the saying goes, old habits die hard. As Salon reported in January, one of President Joe Biden's first actions in office was removing Trump's "Diet Coke button," which the former president used to request cold sodas on-demand.

"Throughout Trump's presidency, his obsessive love of the beverage was well-documented," Salon wrote. "In 2017, the Washington Post published that he reportedly drank a dozen cans of Diet Coke per day and, while the majority of Americans are just finding out about the Diet Coke button, that same year, Demetri Sevastopulo wrote for The Financial Times about how he noticed the red button on Trump's desk. He jokingly asked if it was the nuclear button, to which Trump replied, 'No, no, everyone thinks it is. Everyone does get a little nervous when I press that button.'"

Trump would call out for them during tense conversations (like discussing purchasing the rights to a story about an alleged affair he had with ex-Playboy model Karen Mcdougall) and seemed to relish the feeling of being able to summon a servant with a cold drink at the push of a button while consistently bolstering his stump speeches with assertions of being a man of the people. It's not surprising that his hypocrisy extends to his soda consumption habits. 

Other conservatives, however, seem to be holding the line more tightly. After the MLB announced that it was moving its All-Star Game out of Atlanta, Gov. Brian Kemp, R-Ga., decried the decision as "cancel culture" during a press conference.

"We shouldn't apologize for making it easier to vote and hard to cheat," he said. 

Meanwhile, Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., characterized the situation as corporations allowing themselves to be bullied while "join[ing] in the bullying themselves." 

"From election law to environmentalism to radical social agendas to the Second Amendment, parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government," he said in a statement.

Unlike Trump, neither Kemp nor McConnell have been spotted appearing to stash a secret soda in their office — at least not yet.

By Ashlie D. Stevens

Ashlie D. Stevens is Salon's food editor. She is also an award-winning radio producer, editor and features writer — with a special emphasis on food, culture and subculture. Her writing has appeared in and on The Atlantic, National Geographic’s “The Plate,” Eater, VICE, Slate, Salon, The Bitter Southerner and Chicago Magazine, while her audio work has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered and Here & Now, as well as APM’s Marketplace. She is based in Chicago.

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Boycott Coca-cola Commentary Diet Coke Donald Trump Food Georgia Politics Republicans Voting Laws