Fact Check: Did Donald Trump Moan About Cheesecake Factory at Vegas Rally?

Donald Trump’s rally in Las Vegas on Sunday was made all the more remarkable for bizarre comments the presumptive Republican presidential nominee made to supporters, including a strange tangent about whether he’d prefer to be electrocuted or eaten by a shark.

During his speech in the swing state of Nevada, the former president posed a hypothetical scenario in which a boat with a large battery sinks while a shark was nearby.

“If the boat is sinking, water goes over the battery, the boat is sinking, do I stay on top of the boat and get electrocuted?” Trump said. “Or do I jump over by the shark and not get electrocuted?”

On social media, one viral post claimed to have captured other strange comments he allegedly made, complaining about how President Joe Biden‘s impact on the American economy had raised prices at The Cheesecake Factory.

Donald Trump endorsements spark GOP backlash
Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Sunset Park in Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 9. A viral social media post suggested that Trump spoke at length about The Cheesecake Factory.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Claim

A post on X, formerly Twitter, by writer Keaton Patti, posted on June 9, 2024, viewed 7.8 million times, said: “Trump pulled out a Cheesecake Factory menu at today’s rally.”

Four subtitled images appeared to depict Trump saying: “The Biden economy is the worst economy in the history of economies.

“The prices are insane. This is a menu from the Cheesecake Factory. We love that place, don’t we? One of the best factories.

“The Warm Crab Dip is $47. These are Biden prices. And I bet it’s not even warm since Biden is so bad with energy. Ice cold crab dip. $47.

“$37 Korean fried chicken? When I was President, all chicken was American.”

The Facts

The presentation of the post, showing what appears to be authentic subtitles under a recording of Trump’s speech, and similarities to typical Trump talking points, gives the group of quotes an edge of believability.

Trump has often attacked Biden over increases in costs for energy and everyday items. Moreover, the tangential and seemingly unplanned nature of many of his speeches—which frequently lead to unusual asides—reinforces that believability.

However, the post is merely a convincing spoof.

Transcripts from Trump’s speech on Sunday did not reference The Cheesecake Factory or much discussion about the U.S. economy, beyond claiming he presided over the “greatest economy in history.” Trump spoke about energy costs but not the price of food or groceries.

The screengrabs were taken from about 50 minutes into Trump’s speech when he mocked Biden for being slow and alleging the media gave the president easy questions that he still failed to answer. The document Trump held up was used as a prop to represent a prompt card.

“What they do is they give the guy the question and the answer, they never did that with me,” Trump said. “He’s reading the answers to questions.”

Trump’s other comments about being eaten by a shark were prompted when he began talking about electric vehicles, posing the question of what would happen if a fully electrically powered boat sank.

“I say, what would happen if the boat sank from its weight, and you’re in the boat, and you have this tremendously powerful battery, and the battery is now underwater. And there’s a shark that’s approximately 10 yards over there,” Trump said.

“By the way, lot of shark attacks lately, I watched some guys justifying it today. ‘Well, they weren’t really that angry. They bit off the young lady’s leg because of the fact that they were, they were not hungry, but they misunderstood who she was.’

“He said ‘there’s no problem with sharks, they just didn’t really understand a young woman’s swimming.’ She really got decimated and other people too, a lot of shark attacks.”

The Ruling

Satire Fact Check ruling

Satire.

The post is a spoof of Trump’s speech in Las Vegas on Sunday, a rally characterized by other strange tangents.

Trump did not mention The Cheesecake Factory or the price of other goods beyond energy costs.

FACT CHECK BY Newsweek’s Fact Check team