Trump congratulates Patriots, doesn't mention Hernandez

President Donald Trump holds up a New England Patriots jersey presented to him by Patriots owner Robert Kraft right and head coach Bill Belichick during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington Wednesday

Patriots' White House visit marred by Hernandez' suicide - CBS 5 - KPHO

And there was another opportunity for that Wednesday when the New England Patriots visited President Trump to celebrate their Super Bowl LI victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

The tight end popped his head into the briefing room and jokingly asked Press Secretary Sean Spicer whether he needed any help, drawing laughs.

"They've won more division titles, conference championships, and Super Bowl wins than any other team". When you're congratulating a team for pulling off the greatest comeback win in Super Bowl history, you nearly have to go out of your way not to mention the man who threw for 466 yards, three touchdowns and eventually won the game's MVP award.

Of the six other Patriots absent from Wednesday's event, four - Martellus Bennett, LeGarrette Blount, Devin McCourty and Chris Long - either stated or indirectly stated that the president was their reason.

Two years ago, 50 showed up for the White House visit following the team's victory in Super Bowl XLIX.

Kraft and Trump are close friends, with the National Football League owner easily contributing $1 million to the new president's inauguration festivities, according to filings registered with the Federal Election Commission.

Meanwhile, the ceremony, which began at 2:15 pm ET on Wednesday, came hours after news broke that former Patriots star Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in his jail cell while serving a life sentence for a murder conviction, and just days after being acquitted for a separate double-murder charge. "I'll see you in a minute", Spicer said.

"With your backs against the wall, and the pundits - good old pundits", Trump said.

Around that same time, one of Trump's "Make America Great Again" hats was spied in Brady's locker stall.

During the South Lawn ceremony, Trump recounted reading a supportive letter from Belichick on the eve of the election, while Kraft saluted the president as a friend for decades. Brady also missed the White House visit in 2015 when Obama was in office, citing "family issues".

"Uh, okay, thanks, man", Spicer said with a grin. "Uh". I'm going to give you another one'.

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