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Trump, Patriots fight back against White House attendance photos

Trump, Patriots fight back against White House attendance photos

Thursday, ESPN "First Take" co-host Max Kellerman weighed in on the New England Patriots' visit to the White House in celebration of their Super Bowl victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

The New York Times responded by re-tweeting an update: "Patriots say # of players was smaller this year than 2015 (34 vs. 50) but total delegation was roughly the same". The photo makes it clear there are more people in 2015 than on Wednesday.

An hour later, the Patriots posted their own side-by-side images, pointing out there were only two fewer players in attendance this week (34) than there were "the last time the Patriots won two Super Bowls in three years". Facts: In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs.

Exactly half of the New England Patriots' Super Bowl-winning team did not attend its celebration at the White House, causing photographers to take notice of a diminished presence. Before his daily national security briefing at the White House, Trump fired off a tweet ripping the "failing" publication, which he said "just got caught in a big lie concerning New England Patriots visit to W.H".

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While some players stated they were skipping the Trump event for political reasons, the team suggested that because it has won two Super Bowls in three seasons, the lack of novelty of a White House visit might have kept some players away. Some players, such as Tom Brady, missed the visit for personal reasons, while others, such as LeGarrette Blount and Chris Long, did so due to their distaste for the president and his policies.

Of course, Trump himself also blasted the New York Times.

Some players reportedly declined to attend the White House ceremony because they didn't want to be seen with Trump.

The New York Times obtained a reaction from a Patriots' rep about the matter of size. The Patriots organization told the Times that despite the lower number of players present, the size of the overall delegation that went to the White House is about the same as it was two years ago.


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