President Donald Trump gathered some of America’s most successful and influential business leaders for dinner at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Tuesday night.
The president held the dinner in order to hear directly from American industry leaders about how to keep the economy booming. Trump touted some of the major economic achievements of his administration before letting the business leaders speak. The chairmen and CEOs took turns complimenting the economy and describing how the administration’s policies are working for them.
Trump then introduced Harold Hamm, a billionaire oil development tycoon. Trump said “Oh, my man,” pointing to Hamm, “The man with the straw. Do you use plastic straws or paper straws?”
Recently cities like San Francisco and Seattle have banned plastic straws because of their alleged negative effect on the environment.
Hamm responded, “Either one will work.”
He went on to tell Trump, “Thank you for all that you’ve done. … So it’s tremendous. But we have 1,200 direct employees, and probably 20 times that many contractors. And we’re reporting a good quarter tomorrow.”
The president launched into a story about Hamm and straws, saying, “You know, Harold’s friend is a great football coach. And he came up to my office, and he said — Harold was two minutes late. He said, ‘You know, that Harold Hamm — this guy can take a straw, dump it into the ground, and oil pours out.'”
Trump continued, “He said, ‘These other oil companies, they spend billions and billions of dollars; they can’t find a thing.’ This guy — so that’s why I asked is it a plastic straw. I think, in your case, either one works, Harold. But I heard you’re doing really well. A little better since the original days when I knew you, right? A little bit better. We’re proud of you. Thank you.”
Hamm shrugged off the joke and said, “Thank you very much.”