One of the juiciest revelations from Tuesday’s “surprise” January 6 committee hearings has been enshrined as a meme: Trump throwing a ketchup filled lunch at the Oval Office wall in a fit of ire.
Those watching at home plucked this scene from the testimony of former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who was the main focus of yesterday’s hearing.
Trump’s ketchup moment, Hutchinson said, happened after Attorney General Bill Barr said publicly that there had been no evidence of election fraud.
Because you asked for it, here are 13 of the best Trump ketchup memes, and why they are a powerful lesson in controlling the narrative.
How the Trump ketchup meme was born
Tuesday’s surprise hearing by the January 6 committee select was the most revealing one yet, painting a credible picture of the charged atmosphere of Trump’s inner circle in the days before the Capitol attack.
Former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified about Trump’s reaction after Attorney General Bill Barr told the Associated Press there had been no evidence of election fraud. Hutchinson remembered hearing a commotion down the hallway from her White House desk, which she said was a “five to 10 second walk from the Oval Office”.
She went to check it out and was met by the White House valet, who was changing a tablecloth in the dining room. Hutchinson learned from him that Trump, angered by the Attorney General’s public statement, had thrown his lunch at the wall in a fit of rage.
The valet pointed to the mantel and television at the front of the room and that is when Hutchinson said she first noticed the ketchup dripping down the wall. She grabbed a cloth and started wiping ketchup off the wall, to help the valet.
“He said something to the effect of, ‘He’s really ticked off about this. I would stay clear of him for right now,'” Hutchinson added.
Trump responded with a ‘meltdown’ on Truth Social
As soon as news of Trump’s alleged ketchup scene broke, meme-makers across Twitter put on their thinking caps and got to work. Meanwhile, those still supporting the ex-president took on the task of poking holes (or just poking fun) at Hutchinson’s testimony.
Number 45 himself shared a statement attempting to discredit Hutchinson’s access level at the White House. In it, he claimed the former Chief of Staff aide was only responsible for stocking the Oval Office break room with Diet Coke.
Trump then went on to deny Hutchinson’s claims he had acted out in a fit of rage by…acting out in a fit of rage, it seems. His Truth Social posts poured in a mile a minute:
“Her story of me throwing food is also false…and why would SHE have to clean it up, I hardly knew who she was?”
“Her body language is that of a total bull…. artist. Fantasy Land!”, Trump said in another post.
“A Total Phony!!!” he added immediately after.
13 Best Trump ketchup memes
Of course, the story could not escape the keen eyes of Twitter users, who demanded Trump’s ketchup moment become a meme.
Here they are. No condiment bottles were harmed in the making of these Trump ketchup memes.
A meme about a meme?! Someone call Mark Zuckerberg, we’re off to a very meta start.
Reading the ketchup on the wall.
Sara is just spitballing here, but we think she’s onto something.
Dall-E is in on it too! And Bette Midler!
Uh, Ms Midler? We need to talk about meme formatting.
Sorry, Lucas R, you deserve better.
A lesson in redirecting the narrative
If you already forgot the rest of Cassidy Hutchinson’s bombshell January 6 testimony, we don’t blame you. There is a real danger the more relevant details could be reduced to one endless Trump ketchup meme.
And that’s a powerful lesson in how Trump and his supporters, on purpose or not, can still control the media narrative about the former president.
So here is a brief recap of the revelations from Tuesday’s hearing:
- Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Trump was told the crowd at his 6 January rally at Ellipse had weapons and the former president allegedly responded with “something to the effect of, ‘I don’t effing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the effing mags away. Let my people in. They can march the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the effing mags away.”
- After the rally at Ellipse, Hutchinson said Trump demanded he is taken to the Capitol and reacted in anger when Secret Service refused.
- She added that Rudy Giuliani apparently told her on 2 January: “Cass, are you excited for the 6th? It’s going to be a great day.” When she asked what the date meant, she says Giuliani told her: “We’re going to the Capitol. It’s going to be great. The president is going to be there, he’s going to look powerful.”
- Hutchinson recalled she asked her then-boss Mark Meadows about what was supposed to happen on 6 January and he told her: “There’s a lot going on Cass, but I don’t know, things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6.”