Donald Trump’s former doctor said he used to hide cauliflower in mashed potato in a failed bid to make him lose weight.
Dr Ronny Jackson tried help the president lose between 10 and 15 pounds in 2018 by sneaking veg into his meals and making ice cream “less accessible”.
He also planned to introduce an exercise bike or elliptical machine to the White House to get the President to work out more, but his efforts were in vain.
Trump was found to have gained four pounds during the period, tipping him over into the obese category, at his last public medical examination in February 2019.
“The exercise stuff never took off as much as I wanted it to,” Mr Jackson admitted in an interview with The New York Times published on Monday evening.
“But we were working on his diet. We were making the ice cream less accessible, we were putting cauliflower into the mashed potatoes.”
Trump’s diet came under the spotlight again as he headed for his inaugural trip of India.
The President is a lover of beef, fast food and ketchup, but he will find they will be in short supply in the largely vegetarian country.
His diet typically includes burgers, meat loaf, and well-done steaks, but cows are sacred in Hinduism, the country’s most prominent religion.
An unnamed source who has eaten with Trump multiple times told CNN, “I have never seen him eat a vegetable.”
The source said the president would infrequently eat a salad, but meat is his clear preference.
Dr Jackson, who rose to national attention in January 2018 when he gave a glowing review of Mr Trump’s health despite the president’s well-known love of fast food, once said:
“You know, I told the president that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old.
“He has incredibly good genes, and it’s just the way God made him.”
Following those comments, Mr Jackson became part of Mr Trump’s favoured inner circle at the White House and was even picked to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs.
He later withdrew himself from consideration for the position after he was accused of misconduct, including being drunk at work and allegedly giving out Ambien, Provigil and other prescription drugs “like they were candy” – allegations that he said were “completely false and fabricated”.
“That was the day I got the Trump stamp on me completely,” Mr Jackson told the Times, referring to the 2018 press conference.
“I was no longer viewed as a nonpartisan physician on military orders, even though I still technically was.”
The former White House doctor is now running to be the Republican candidate in Texas’ 13th congressional district, one of the most conservative in the US, where the Republican nomination all but guarantees a place in Congress.