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.
HORSLEY: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was not at the White House today.
A side-by-side comparison of the teams on both occasions showed a visibly smaller contingent to visit President Donald Trump than former President Barack Obama - a difference first noted by The New York Times. Andre Branch and Dont'a Hightower previously cited personal reasons for their decisions not to go. Brady had planned on making the White House visit, but will instead spend time with his mother who flew in from California to Boston to visit Brady and his family.
President Trump welcomed the New England Patriots to the White House on Wednesday to celebrate their Super Bowl win.
While all the Patriots players were invited to the White House ceremony Wednesday, some players chose to skip the visit for different reasons. Donald said Brady had called him to congratulate him on his win in November after President Trump won through the electoral college.
The visit came on the same day as the news that former Patriot's tight end and convicted murdered Aaron Hernandez hanged himself in prison Wednesday morning. He opened a door behind the press secretary and asked, "Sean, need some help?"
The controversy recalls Trump's reaction to the crowd size on the Mall at his January inauguration.
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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft stands next to President Trump aboard Air Force One in Palm Beach, Fla., on March 19, 2017.
"I think I've got this, but thank you", Spicer responded, which drew a few laughs.
Noticeably absent from the White House event was Super Bowl MVP and star quarterback Tom Brady.
Hernandez was serving a life sentence for murder but was recently acquitted on separate double murder charges.
Patriots spokesman Stacey James said: "We are aware of the reports but I don't anticipate that we will be commenting today".
While it isn't clear why Brady was not present, he also did not attend the White House visit in 2015. Even his confidence was shaken, though, when New England fell behind the Atlanta Falcons by 25 points in the third quarter.