Deja vu: Another Trump crowd size dispute - this one involving the Patriots

Owen Stevens
April 21, 2017

The Patriots followed up with another tweet, comparing Wednesday's attendance with a ceremony during former President George W. Bush's tenure: "Comparable photos: The last time the #Patriots won two Super Bowls in three years, 36 players visited the White House". And after an out-of-context tweet from the New York Times sports desk, President Trump was ready to blitz.

In photos posted to social media Wednesday, the New England Patriots' turnout at the White House this year seemed to be noticeably smaller than in 2015, when the team last visited the executive residence.

Trump rushed into the action Thursday morning with yet another tweet bashing the "failing" New York Times amid a minor squabble over the tweet.

It appears the side-by-side was meant to call attention to Trump's lackluster support among the National Football League champions. There are 64 players listed on the Patriots' active team roster, though it's unclear how many were invited.

Many Trump fans believe that the Times, and subsequently other media outlets, never would have gleefully publicized the image under the same set of circumstances in the Obama administration without first checking the backstory, if at all.

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"I don't understand still to this day, especially with how many women went out there and voted for him", he said.

The Pats took to Twitter to suggest, using alternative terminology, that the Times may have been engaging in fake news, pointing out that in yesterday's visit, about the same number of staffers attended, but instead they had seats on the south lawn of the White House rather than being required to stand.

"Bad tweet by me". This accusation has bounced around the sports media for some time and is a charge "mostly chuckled about by sports writers", according to ESPN's Bomani Jones. Of course, at that point the damage was done. "I just needed to own it".

Much was also made about President Trump's friend and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady skipping the event this year. Martellus Bennett, Devin McCourty, Dont'a Hightower and Alan Branch all said they would not accept an invitation to visit the White House, NBC News reports.

"Patriots say (number) of players was smaller this year than 2015, but total delegation was roughly the same", the publication wrote. "I'm a father of three daughters and I have a son as well and I just can't see myself having any type of interest to go meet this person that said such awful things".

Other reports by VgToday

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