It's another Trump-related brouhaha over crowd size. The New York Times set this one off with a tweet of two photos, one showing the New England Patriots visiting Trump at the White House on Wednesday and another showing them visiting President Obama in 2015. The Obama crowd was much bigger. A few hours later, the Patriots took public exception to the tweet with one of their own complaining that the images "lack context." And they have a point: The 2015 photo included players, coaches, and administrative staff. The 2017 photo included players and coaches only—those same staffers were seated in the audience. All of which caught the attention of Trump himself, who tweeted Thursday: "Failing @nytimes, which has been calling me wrong for two years, just got caught in a big lie concerning New England Patriots visit to W.H."
It's true that fewer players attended this year's event than in 2015—34 vs. about 50. But a team spokesman says even that comparison is unfair given that it's the team's second Super Bowl win in three years, reports the Boston Globe. It's just human nature that fewer would come this time, he suggested, not politics. However, at least one player skipped because of the president's politics, notes the Washington Post: free safety Devin McCourty. QB Tom Brady also skipped this year, though he cited family reasons, and he skipped in 2015, too. Meanwhile, the Huffington Post notes that his wife, Gisele Bundchen, issued a tweet Wednesday perceived as anti-Trump. It's since been deleted, but it supported an April 29 march in DC against new White House environmental policies. "March for climate, jobs, and justice," it read. (Read more New England Patriots stories.)