In a contentious press briefing Tuesday, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders shed some light on the cancelled visit of the Philadelphia Eagles to the White House. Video of her comments is posted below.
Sanders revealed that the Eagles attempted to pull a bit of a double-switch, leading many to believe that the entire situation was a planned stunt to embarrass the President. She revealed that on Friday, the Eagles claimed an entourage of 80 players, coaches, and staff would visit the White House on Tuesday. Over the weekend, however, that number changed, with fewer than ten players attending.
Many believe most of the Eagles players never intended to attend, and wanted to see only a few players visiting Trump, to create a visual that would embarrass the White House. Otherwise, they would not have backed out at the last minute – the number of players attending should have been set long ago.
In addition, the Eagles’ offer to reschedule the visit on a date when Trump was out of the country shows they were disingenuous to begin with. It left the Trump White House with no choice but to cancel. Instead, the visit became a patriotic event to honor the troops.
Minutes before the revamped program began, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders accused the team of a “political stunt,” and said the players who planned to boycott the event had chosen to “abandon their fans.”
The Tuesday afternoon event, held on the South Lawn of the White House, was billed as a celebration of the American flag with Eagles fans. It included performances by the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus.
“I want to take this opportunity to explain why young Americans stand for our national anthem,” President Trump said at the event. “Maybe it’s about time that we understood.”
Said Trump: “We stand to honor our military and to honor our country and to remember the fallen heroes who never made it back home. We stand to show our love for our fellow citizens and our magnificent constitution.”
Monday evening, the President tweeted out why he dis-invited the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018
Earlier Tuesday, as tensions flared over the nixed invite, Sanders issued a detailed statement explaining what led to this point.
She said the Eagles had initially given the White House a list of 81 players, coaches and others who planned to attend the scheduled event this past Thursday. The next day, Sanders said, the team tried to reschedule the event “citing the fact that many players would not be in attendance.” She added that the Eagles proposed to move the celebration to dates when Trump would be traveling overseas.
Here is video of Sanders’ statement to the press explaining the stunt by the Philadelphia Eagles.
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