Hillary Clinton during an interview with hosts of "The Breakfast Club." Photo: TMZ
Hillary Clinton during an interview with hosts of “The Breakfast Club.” Photo: 105.1FM

In a radio interview with “The Breatkfast Club” on Monday morning, Hillary Clinton tells the hosts that there’s one item she always carries.

And that’s hot sauce.

Normally, a candidate’s choice of condiment is unremarkable. But immediately after the interview, some commentators couldn’t help but make the connection to Beyonce’s recently released hit single “Formation” and its catchy line, “I got hot sauce in my bag, swag.”

Republican Donald Trump immediately called her out for “lying” about the hot sauce. “It’s the same thing she always does. She carries hot sauce like I carry hot sauce. It’s just, I don’t know so phony, and so pandering and so terrible,” Trump tells Politico.

The interview was done with three black hosts–DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God– on one of New York’s biggest hip hop and R&B stations 105.1 FM ahead of the New York primary.

“What is something you always carry with you?” asked Angela Lee.

“Hot sauce,” Clinton replied without missing a beat, prompting a few seconds of hesitation from the hosts.

“Really. Really? Are you getting in formation right now?” Charlamagne Tha God asked, “Hot sauce. Hot sauce in my bag swag?”

“No seriously, hot sauce. I’ve been eating a lot of hot sauce. Raw peppers and hot sauce,” she said. “Because I think it keeps my immune system strong. I think hot sauce is good for you, in moderation.”

You can watch the full encounter here:

The interview hit a wrong note with some Twitter users, with some calling the condiment choice unbelievable:

Others are calling her to produce one out of her bag as proof:


TIME reached out to Bernie Sanders campaign and asked if the senator also likes hot sauce. “His bold ideas are his hot sauce,” responded campaign spokesman Michael Briggs.

But as unbelievable as it sounds, Clinton’s obsession with hot sauce does hold true.

In 2008, she told CBS’s 60 Minutes that one of her secrets to staying healthy is hot peppers:

“My two secrets to staying healthy: wash your hands all the time. And, if you can’t, use Purell or one of the sanitizers. And the other is hot peppers. I eat a lot of hot peppers. I for some reason started doing that in 1992, and I swear by it.”

In another interview in August 2012, Condé Nast’s Traveler asked Secretary Clinton’s office what does she always packs on the road. Her office replied:

“A small mesh bag filled with the basics: Sharpies, Advil, sunscreen. Converters to charge her BlackBerry and iPad anywhere in the world. Red pepper flakes and a mini bottle of Tabasco Sauce for adding spice to her meals.”

Then in October of that year, the Wall Street Journal reported similar findings:

“This fall, preparing for her final few months on the job, Mrs. Clinton set off for China. In her Air Force plane, which stocks fruit, almonds and Tabasco sauce, which she dribbles on nearly all foods, including salads, she slept on a foldout sofa in a private cabin. “

As recently as December 2015 – two months before the release of Beyonce’s “Formation” – the Associated Press also reported on Clinton’s obsession with hot sauce:

Many of their meals centered on fish and vegetables. Clinton favored hummus, had a collection of more than 100 hot sauces and a weakness for mocha cake and Dove ice cream bars — a favorite of daughter Chelsea.

Unless Hillary Clinton predicted Beyonce’s hot sauce lyrics years in advance, it seems that the whole fiasco is overblown, and that Hillary is genuinely obsessed with hot sauce and isn’t saying it just to slay the election. The incident does serve to highlight one of Clinton campaign’s biggest problems: even when Hillary is telling the truth, it sounds like she’s lying.