Patriots player crashes White House press briefing

Patriots player crashes White House press briefing

The Super Bowl-champion New England Patriots are visiting the White House to accept congratulations from President Donald Trump for another National Football League title.

Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots footballer Rob Gronkowski made his presence felt at the White House when he interrupted Sean Spicer's press briefing and asked him if he "needed a hand".

There were a lot of no-shows from the Patriots as the team met with Trump at the White House to honor their Super Bowl victory. "They win as a team", President Trump said of their comeback win against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

The New England Patriots veteran star quarterback Tom Brady is expected to be at the facility on Tuesday.

Players who stayed away included Martellus Bennett, LeGarrette Blount, Devin McCourty and Chris Long.

It all started a few hours after the Patriots celebration ended when the Times tweeted out a photo that showed the difference between the team's entourage in 2015 - when Barack Obama was president - and the size of the team's entourage in 2017 with Trump. He had a personal family matter to attend to, he told ESPN's Mike Reiss. "But this one, the way we were treated and the opportunities to be in the oval office and meet with the president, sitting inside of the white house, it's been fabulous", the famously taciturn coach said.

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Wednesday's visit also comes as the team grapples with the news that former Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was found dead in jail. But Brady also declined to attend 2015.

"I think I got this, but thank you", the spokesman replied.

Patriots' owner Robert Kraft compared his team's remarkable comeback, after being down 21 to 3 at halftime and overtime, to President Trump's unlikely campaign to win the White House. Should the Patriots decline to match, the defending Super Bowl champion would receive a first-round pick compensation from Malcolm Butler's new team.

Of the 34 players who were present, only six had played with Hernandez and none of them spoke with reporters after the ceremony.

Trump's choice for deputy secretary of commerce, Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts, has withdrawn his nomination, a source says, amid reports of difficulties untangling his financial holdings to the satisfaction of the government ethics watchdog.

Blount voiced a similar concern, telling NFL Network's Rich Eisen in February, "I will NOT be going to the White House".

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