Trump Honors Super Bowl Champ Patriots at White House

One player who was notably absent was Tom Brady, the team's star quarterback and Trump's longtime friend.

Trump's welcome to the team came hours after the news from MA prisons officials that ex-Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez hanged himself in his prison cell.

The New England Patriots made the traditional victory White House visit on Wednesday to celebrate their Super Bowl 51 victory.

That led to laughter from the press corps. The internet is often quick to hop on Spicer's moments, but with Gronkowski tacked on, people were particularly excited about the joke opportunities.

On August 30, 1865, Andrew Johnson, the first president to be impeached, made a different first: When he hosted the Brooklyn Atlantics and Washington Nationals amateur baseball clubs at the White House, he originated the custom of sports teams visiting the president.

Brady said that he has "family matters" to attend to, according to a statement published by ESPN. So I think what you've seen out of this White House is a very robust agenda of activity.

Wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell said he was moved by the White House ceremony, saying it "almost brought me to tears". That's because when the Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots make their visit today, The Donald's golfing buddy and most favorite athlete in whole world, Tom Brady, won't be there.

Meanwhile Trump, as a GOP presidential candidate, often claimed that he had both the support of Brady and Coach Bill Belichick. Several players were asked about Hernandez's death after the White House ceremony, but they declined to answer.

Chris Long, Alan Branch, Legarrette Blount, Martellus Bennet, Dont'a Hightower and Devin McCourty said they aren't making the trip to Washington, D.C. "That's the beauty of what they do, they win as a team", said Trump, who compared the team's 25-point comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in February to his own political upset.

White House press briefings usually focus on the administration's policies and the president's plans for the day.

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