KEY POINTS

  • Trump's button allowed him to order Diet Coke with a flick of finger
  • Trump reportedly drank around 12 Diet Cokes a day
  • Biden has also made other significant changes to the Oval Office

It was no surprise that Joe Biden's White House would be a departure from the Trump days. He seems to have given the boot to a Trump tradition that had piqued the interest of several visitors to the Oval Office: A red button the president used to press to order Diet Coke.

Reporters who got the first glimpses of the president's office after Wednesday's inauguration were the first ones to notice the change. 

Times Radio chief political commentator Tom Newton Dunn tweeted an image of Biden’s desk and compared it with Trump’s. He said that when he went to interview Trump in 2019, a butler brought in Diet Coke on a silver platter when the former President pressed the button. 

Associated Press reporter Julie Pace also spoke about Trump’s red button in 2017. “Moments before pressing the button, in the middle of an answer about his dealings with China, he said to me without skipping a beat: ‘Do you want a Coke or anything?’ Pace wrote.

A New York Times feature on Trump in 2017 said the former President drank around 12 Diet Cokes each day. 

Several people on Twitter reacted to the change made by Biden:

Former White House staffer Chris Sims recalled how Trump used to prank visitors with the button, invoking another menacing button which could launch a nuclear war. “If Trump noticed someone glancing at the box... he would pick it up and move it further away from himself. 'Don't worry about that,' he'd say. 'No one wants me to push that button,’” Sims wrote in his book, ‘Team of Vipers.’

Trump would suddenly press the button and when a steward entered the room carrying a glass of Diet Coke, he would burst out laughing.

Trump had boasted about the nuclear button too. In 2018, he tweeted in response to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that he too has "a nuclear button, but it is a much bigger and more powerful one than his, and my button works". 

Biden also replaced a portrait of Andrew Jackson in the Oval Office with that of Benjamin Franklin and changed the rug to a deep blue one with the presidential seal in the middle. He has also brought in busts of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. 

Some of the art US President Donald Trump brought back from Paris was put on display in the White House Oval Office Some of the art US President Donald Trump brought back from Paris was put on display in the White House Oval Office Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / POOL