VERIFY: Did majority of the Patriots skip out on White House visit?

Did the majority of the Patriots skip the White House trip?

Pictures of the New England Patriots and President Donald Trump together Wednesday are causing a stir online. There have been a lot of questions and assumptions about the relationship the team has with the 45th President.

The Super Bowl Champions visited the White House to meet the President, which is customary after a Super Bowl win. A photo taken of the team, behind the President on the south lawn, shows a considerably smaller number of players compared to the team's previous visit in 2015 when President Barack Obama was in office.

We set out to verify if a much smaller number of players attended this year's visit.

A tweet from the team's official account set out to clarify the issue:

"Fact -- In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs.  In 2017, they were seated on the south lawn."

Another tweet from the team account adds, "the last time the Patriots won two Super Bowls in three years, 36 players visited the White House. Today {Wednesday} we had 34."

It’s worth noting New England Quarterback Tom Brady and Player Alan Branch were not in attendance. 

While it isn't clear why Brady was not present, he also did not attend the White House visit in 2015.  As for Branch, he told CNN's Don Lemon, he declined the visit because of sexists comments the President made about women on an Access Hollywood video.

Sources:

New England Patriots Twitter Account: @Patriots

CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon https://twitter.com/CNN/status/855047152808189954

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