Trump Tweaks Eagles: 'We Will Proudly Be Playing the National Anthem' at WH, 3 PM

By Susan Jones | June 5, 2018 | 8:36am EDT
President Trump welcomed NASCAR Champion Martin Truex Jr. and his team at the White House on May 21. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - President Trump has canceled today's planned visit to the White House by the champion Philadelphia Eagles because, as he tweeted Monday night -- "only a small number of players decided to come."

The president said staying in the locker room for the playing of the National Anthem is "as disrespectful to our country as kneeling." The president said staying in the locker room for the playing of the National Anthem is "as disrespectful to our country as kneeling."

(Press reports noted that none of the Eagles kneeled when the anthem played last season, although Safetys Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod raised a fist.)

Early Tuesday morning, to re-emphasize the point he's made again and again, the president tweeted: "We will proudly be playing the National Anthem and other wonderful music celebrating our Country today at 3 P.M., The White House, with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus. Honoring America! NFL, no escaping to Locker Rooms!"

Another tweet followed: "We have had many Championship teams recently at the White House including the Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Penguins, New England Patriots, Alabama and Clemson National Champions, and many others. National Anthem & more great music today at 3:00 P.M."

In a statement rescinding the White House invitation on Monday, Trump said:

The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better.

These fans are still invited to the White House to be part of a different type of ceremony — one that will honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem. I will be there at 3:00 p.m. with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus to celebrate America.

Some Pennsylvania politicians seized on the cancelation to vent about Trump:

Philly Mayor Jim Kenney praised the Eagles for standing up for the causes they believe in:

"Disinviting them from the White House only proves that our President is not a true patriot, but a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend,” Kenney said in a statement.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) tweeted on Monday that he would skip the "political stunt at the White House." He invited the Eagles to take a tour of the Capitol instead.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that fewer than 10 players planned to attend the White House event.

Trump also tweeted on Tuesday: "@NASCAR and Champion @MartinTruex_Jr were recently at the White House. It was a great day for a great sport!" ( – Sixty-five percent of Americans believe smoking marijuana is “morally acceptable,” while 31 percent consider it “morally wrong,” according to a recent Gallup Poll.

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