The New England Patriots visited the White House on Wednesday for the customary celebratory visit with the president bestowed upon championship-winning teams. The Patriots were the first champions to visit the White House since President Trump took office in January; they defeated the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI in February.
Naturally, Trump took the opportunity to congratulate the Patriots on their historic comeback win mention the fact that he won the election, as you may have heard, and reflect on some nice things Patriots coach Bill Belichick once said about him.
"Just a quick story about the coach," Trump began. "I had won the primaries, and I'm now in this rather heated election that a few of you have read about. And [Belichick] wrote me this beautiful letter after the primaries. 'Congratulations,' he said all sorts of things that were really good. I mean, it was a really beautiful letter."
Trump did eventually get around to congratulating the Patriots on their improbable victory — which he, of course, likened to his in last year's election. "With your backs against the wall and the pundits — good old pundits, boy they're wrong a lot, aren't they — saying you couldn't do it ... you pulled off the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all time," Trump said, per the New York Daily News.
Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady announced just hours before the team's scheduled visit that he would not attend, citing "personal family matters." Several other players sat out the event, some specifically citing political reasons.