President Donald Trump welcomed the Patriots to the White House on Wednesday, and he was predictably lavish in his praise of the Super Bowl LI champions.
In his remarks, Trump provided a recap of the team’s 34-28 comeback victory, conveniently omitting the fact that he left his own watch party when the Patriots were trailing 28-3. Notably, the president left Tom Brady out of his description. Brady was absent from the White House trip due to “personal family matters.”
Here’s how Trump described Super Bowl LI:
This Super Bowl was a complete team effort. That’s the beauty of what they do. They win as a team.
With your backs against the wall. And the pundits—good old pundits, boy, they’re wrong a lot, aren’t they?—saying you couldn’t do it, the game was over, you pulled off the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all time. One of the greatest comebacks of all time. But the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all time. And that was just special. I think I looked at odds, and they gave you less than one half of one percent chance of winning the game.
And then the coach said, ‘Let’s go for three.’ He’s losing by so much, he said, ‘Let’s go for three,’ and I say what is he doing? That was a great decision, coach. [Laughs] I tell him that all the time.
The fourth down conversion by Danny Amendola. Where’s Danny? Where’s Danny? [realizes Amendola isn’t present]. Way to go, Danny.
The big sack by Trey Flowers. Big sack. Where’s Trey? Come on, put your hand up, Trey. See, he’s shy a little bit. You weren’t shy when you hit that guy, were you? You weren’t shy about … he didn’t mind hitting. Thank you, Trey. Great job.
The incredible catch by Julian Edelman. What a catch. We all said, ‘No, that ball was dropped.’ Isn’t it good? You know, in the old days they might’ve said that was dropped. Those replays are good. You’re starting to like the replays. [Laughs] Great going, Julian.
I think of guys like Marcus Cannon and the offensive line. Marcus. … That’s some line.
Or Matt Slater, who was awarded the 2017 Bart Star Award for the character and leadership he has shown both on and off the field.
Malcolm Mitchell, it’s true. Malcolm Mitchell, who as a rookie, handled the pressure of the Super Bowl like an absolute true veteran. Way to go, Malcolm. Good job.
Or Nate Ebner, who played on our Olympic rugby team last summer. Pretty good athlete, right? And in Brazil, he was in Brazil, playing and doing really well and is All-Pro special team guy and player. So, Nate, congratulations. Where’s Nate? Which is a tougher sport, football or rugby? [Inaudible response.] I had a feeling you might say that.
But everyone played a role. And everybody played as champions. It was the first overtime game in Super Bowl history. And it ended with a legendary victory for this proud franchise and for these absolutely terrific players and coaches.
Following Trump’s remarks, Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick each took the podium, and the team presented the president with a commemorative No. 45 jersey.
Here’s video of the Patriots’ visit to the White House: