Trump welcomes Patriots to White House; Brady no-shows

"They win as a team", President Trump said of their comeback win against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

The visit was the first for the Trump administration under the age-old tradition of champions visiting the White House.

Is Brady skipping the New England Patriots trip to the White House for political reason?

Earlier in the day, Patriots tight end and class clown Rob Gronkowski crashed White House press secretary Sean Spicer's media briefing, offering to help.

The visit came just hours after the death of former Patriots' receiver Aaron Hernandez, who hanged himself in his cell in a MA prison.

Wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell said he was moved by the White House ceremony, saying it "almost brought me to tears".

Other members of the Patriots had made it clear they will skip Wednesday's visit over disagreements with President Trump. He also thanks Donald Trump for hosting the team at this annual celebration and for supporting the team for so long.

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

The 27-year-old Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the 2013 shooting death of a friend. In fact, a quick scan of photos through the years suggests that the high attendance at the Obama White House in 2015 was an anomaly-which nonetheless can't be welcome news for Trump.

He added, "Hopefully, if we accomplish the goal of winning a championship in the future years, we will back on the South Lawn again soon".

Trump also received a personalized No. 45 jersey and helmet from Kraft and Belichick, respectively.

"It's a distinct honor for us to celebrate what was unequivocally our sweetest championship with a very good friend and somebody whose mental toughness and strength I greatly admire", he said. "I'm very against it and I'd hate for my son, you know, to see me go to the White House and act like it's okay to do whatever you want if you're a celebrity", he said.

It's worth noting Trump didn't mention Tom Brady once during his remarks, as the quarterback was not there.

"I don't believe in excluding other people", free safety Devin McCourty explained in a video released at the end of last week.

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