NYT and Patriots get into Twitter spat over visit to Trump

Super Bowl champion New England Patriots blasted The New York Times for spreading fake news about the number of Patriots' players who attended their White House ceremony.

When the New England Patriots visited the White House Wednesday to commemorate their epic 34-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, not everyone was on their best behavior.

"Only during the Trump presidency does the media care about this much about who doesn't attend", Patriots spokesman Stacey James told HuffPost.

The Times - a publication Trump has attacked on numerous occasions - tweeted out a photo on Wednesday comparing the "turnout" the Pats had when they visited Barack Obama's White House in 2015 to Trump's White House this week.

The president accepted gifts from Kraft and Belichick during the ceremony, a personalized No. 45 Patriots jersey and a team helmet matching the ones used during the Super Bowl.

The Patriots strongly refuted a Times tweet showing the 2015 and 2017 photographs, saying the comparisons "lack context".

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Trump hosted the five-time champions on the South Lawn and declared that "no team has been good this long". Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady is also friendly with the president but didn't attend the ceremony, citing personal matters with his family.

New England's win, the president said, was very similar his win in the presidential election.

Trump has saluted Patriots owner Bob Kraft, a longtime friend, and says the longtime coach, Bill Belichick, has "built a culture dedicated to winning".

While several high-profile members of the team, including quarterback Tom Brady, were not in attendance, the day was still worth watching.

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.

The Patriots posted another photo to their Twitter account Wednesday showing Patriots staff and players who visited the White House Wednesday, among other personnel.

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