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Diet Coke button

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The red button in a wooden box next to the telephone on the Resolute desk in March 2017.
Barack Obama on the phone while sitting at the Resolute desk in 2009. The wooden box holding the button is visible next to the phone.
Barack Obama sitting at the Resolute desk with the button visible.

Some presidents of the United States have had a red call button in the Oval Office of the White House that could call aides. This button was noted as being on the Resolute desk since at least the George W. Bush presidency and sits in an approximately 9 in (23 cm) long by 3 in (7.6 cm) wide wooden box marked with a golden presidential seal.[1][2] The button is frequently found on the Resolute desk but not not always.[3] According to Richard Branson, President Obama used it to order tea.[4]

During the Trump administration, when pressed, a signal would summon a butler who would bring a Diet Coke on a silver platter; Trump reportedly also used the button to request lunch.[5][6][7] Donald Trump stated to one reporter that "everyone thinks it is [the nuclear button]".[8] Trump reportedly drank 12 Diet Cokes per day.[9]

In the first few days of Joe Biden's presidency, it was reported that he had the button removed,[10][11] though a White House official later told Politico that the button is still on the desk.[12]

Similarly, Lyndon Johnson had a series of buttons, or keys, to summon different drinks to the Oval Office, Cabinet Room, and "Little Lounge" (a room just next to the Oval Office). In the Oval Office the keys were on the table behind the president's desk. The four keys were for coffee, tea, Coke, and Fresca, and when pressed a butler would fulfill the president's drink request.[13] Johnson also had a buzzer installed so that Secret Service agents could warn him when his wife, Lady Bird Johnson, was approaching.[14]

References[edit]

  1. Sims, Cliff. [https://www.google.com/books/edition/Team_of_Vipers/Ych6DwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=%22Oval%20Office%22%20%22red%20button%22 Team of Vipers My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House]. St. Martin's Publishing Group. 2019. ISBN 9781250223890 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.. p. 78.
  2. 'Yes, Mr. President': A call button for President Bush on his desk in the Oval Office. Time Magazine. April 04, 2008. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  3. Stone, Chelsea (2017-04-26). "Donald Trump Made This Big Change to the Oval Office". Architectural Digest. Archived from the original on 2017-05-01. Retrieved 2021-01-22. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  4. Strutner, Suzy (2017-10-13). "Obama Used His Oval Office Red Button For Tea, According To Richard Branson". HuffPost. Archived from the original on 2018-10-03. Retrieved 2021-01-21. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  5. Evon, Dan (2021-01-21). "Did Trump Have a 'Diet Coke' Button in the Oval Office?". Snopes. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  6. Lejeune, Tristan (2021-01-21). "Trump's Diet Coke button appears to have left Oval Office when he did". TheHill. Archived from the original on 2021-01-21. Retrieved 2021-01-22. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  7. Haberman, Maggie; Thrush, Glenn; Baker, Peter (December 9, 2017). "Inside Trump's Hour-by-Hour Battle for Self-Preservation (Published 2017)". The New York Times.
  8. Abramson, Alana (2017-04-27). "President Trump Presses a Button in the Oval Office to Get a Coke". Time. Archived from the original on 2017-04-30. Retrieved 2021-01-22. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  9. Haberman, Maggie; Thrush, Glenn; Baker, Peter (December 9, 2017). "Inside Trump's Hour-by-Hour Battle for Self-Preservation (Published 2017)". The New York Times.
  10. Massie, Graeme (2021-01-21). "Biden removes Trump's Diet Coke button from the White House". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2021-01-22. Retrieved 2021-01-22. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  11. Reimann, Nicholas (2021-01-21). "Moon Rock In, Diet Coke Button Out: Here Are The Changes Joe Biden Has Made To Oval Office Decor". Forbes. Archived from the original on 2021-01-22. Retrieved 2021-01-22. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  12. "Impeachment means 2022 is already here". Politico.
  13. @LBJLibrary (Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum). "Many have asked about LBJ having a Fresca button in the White House. Short answer—yes, he did. More details from our archives:". Twitter. April 26, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  14. Hagood, Wesley O. Presidential Sex: From the Founding Fathers to Bill Clinton. Carol Publishing Group. 1995. ISBN 9781559723084 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png., p. 195.



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