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Trump draws parallels between Patriots and his White House win

20 April 2017

For instance, Rob Gronkowski was in Washington D.C., and we know that because he crashed Sean Spicer's press briefing.

The celebration, however, was clouded by former Patriots player Aaron Hernandez's suicide in prison just hours before the team's visit.

President Trump was a few minutes away from beginning his story about Bill Belichick's letter of encouragement - "This handsome letter", Trump would say - when he began listing a few of his favorite memories from Super Bowl LI.

Kraft, who presented Trump with a championship ring before Belichick gave Trump a commemorative helmet, joked that Trump's White House bid faced "odds nearly as long as we did" in the Super Bowl.

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Kraft and Belichick presented Trump with a personalized Patriots uniform and a Super Bowl LI helmet. The projected range of attendees was thought to be somewhere between 27 (the number of players that showed up for the Patriots visit to the White House in 2005) and 36 (the number that showed up to the White House visit in 2004).

According to the Sporting News, six Patriot players have announced they are not attending the traditional visit.

Trump compared the Patriots' record 25-point comeback against the Atlanta Falcons to his defeat of the widely favored Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump draws parallels between Patriots and his White House win Who will replace Chaffetz on Oversight? The champion quarterback decided not to attend the ceremony, citing family matters for his absence.

During the White House ceremony, Trump praised individual players and their overall performance at the Super Bowl, saying that "everybody played a role and everybody played as champions".

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Martellus Bennett, who joked that he might move to outer space if Mr Trump was elected, said: "It is what it is".

Defensive back Devin McCourty told Time Magazine that "I don't feel accepted in the White House".

Trump has particularly close ties to the Patriots, counting owner Bob Kraft and coach Bill Belichick as friends.

"I am so happy and excited that our team is being honored at the White House today".

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Trump then jumped into the story of how Belichick wrote him an encouraging letter during the contentious presidential election. Many noted their differences with the Republican administration.