Carolyn Kaster / AP
- When he's having working lunches or dinners at the White House, President Donald Trump often wields salt and pepper shakers almost twice the size of everyone else's.
- This could be another one of his power moves, alongside his fierce handshakes and bulky suits.
- Photos show Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama using the same size shakers as their White House guests, while Trump's usually tower over others.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
President Donald Trump displays his power with firm handshakes, a second scoop of ice cream, and towering salt and pepper shakers.
Mark Knoller, CBS News' White House correspondent, pointed out how much bigger Trump's shakers were in a tweet on Thursday.
Insider combed the photo archives and found that Trump more often than not gets much larger salt and pepper shakers than other foreign leaders or American politicians when dining at the White House. And we couldn't find instances of Trump's most recent predecessors using larger shakers than those of their guests.
These photos show how much bigger Trump's White House salt and pepper shakers usually are than everyone else's, and how they compare to those of Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.
To set the scene, we'll start with Clinton. It appears he and Vice President Al Gore ate lunch with typical, nondescript salt and pepper shakers.
Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection / GettyCondiment equality continued with Bush. In 2005, he seasoned his food with the same size salt and pepper shakers as Condoleezza Rice, his secretary of state.
Eric Draper / The White House / APWhen Vice President Joe Biden joined Obama for lunch in the private dining room of the White House, the shakers were equal.
Carolyn Kaster / APBut Obama was known for his regimented eating, so maybe bigger salt shakers weren't a priority.
Brendan Smialoski / AFP / Getty
Source: Business Insider
In the one photo we could find of Obama dining in the Cabinet Room — where he and Clinton would usually have coffee or tea, not full meals — he had the same size shakers as his guests.
Pete Souza / White HouseWhite House meals changed when Trump became president. When he dined with the emir of Kuwait in the Cabinet Room in September 2017, they reportedly shared a laugh at the expense of the media, but they didn't share shakers — Trump's were far larger.
Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty
Source: Washington Post
Note the positioning here. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's little shakers float all alone, while Trump's sizable shakers are positioned right behind his title card.
Carolyn Kaster / APTrump's shakers were again larger than everyone else's when he dined with the United Nations Security Council at the White House in early 2018.
Chris Kleponis-Pool/GettyThe trend continued in March 2018. Even Secretary of Energy Rick Perry got the small shakers.
Evan Vucci / APLet's get a closer look.
Evan Vucci / APWe did find a few instances where Trump had the same size shakers as others. Interestingly, this was in the Cabinet Room, the same room where the shakers have tended to be different sizes.
Shealah Craighead / White HouseEveryone had normal-sized shakers in the Roosevelt Room at a lunch in December 2017 ...
Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty... and again in the Roosevelt Room in June 2018.
Win McNamee / GettyBut there were more examples of the president's larger shakers. In April, Trump met with Baltic leaders at the White House, and he made it clear who was boss.
Evan Vucci / APTrump continued his shaker tradition when he met again with the UN Security Council in late 2019.
Mandel Ngan / AFP / GettyTrump's pepper shaker alone dwarfs both shakers for Kelly Craft, the US's ambassador to the UN.
Mandel Ngan / AFP / GettyThere's one other strange dynamic to this shaker controversy. Note how in this photo everyone's salt and pepper shakers sit close together, while Trump's shakers (which are the same size as everyone else's here) are far apart.
Mandel Ngan / AFP / GettyLook at that width.
Alex Wong/GettyPeople might wonder: How much seasoning does a president need? And why are the shakers so eye-catching? Are they intertwined?
Mandel Ngan / AFP / GettyOne answer is that it could be another Trump power move — instead of a handshake, now he displays his power with a mighty shake of salt or a spray of black pepper.
Or maybe he just feels at ease having a pinch more salt and pepper at the ready.
Chip Somodevilla / GettyThe White House didn't respond to Insider's request for comment on the larger salt and pepper shakers, so the world may never know.
Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty
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