Hours after the U.S. women’s national team won their second straight World Cup title, President Trump offered high praise and congratulations to the squad but expressed uncertainty about a White House invite for the players and coaches.
“We haven’t really thought about it,” Trump told reporters Sunday. “We will look at that, certainly.”
But Trump actually has done more than just think about it. Late last month he invited the entire team to the White House “win or lose” when they were still three wins away from the championship.
The invitation came during a June 26 Twitter rant by the president, inspired by a months-old clip of U.S. captain Megan Rapinoe using an expletive while stating she has no intention of hanging out at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington under the current administration.
“Women’s soccer player, @mPinoe, just stated that she is ‘not going to the F...ing White House if we win,’” Trump wrote in an edited version of a tweet that initially and accidentally tagged someone other than Rapinoe.
“Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job! We haven’t yet invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose.”
Those tweets still appear on the president’s Twitter feed, so it’s unclear exactly what he meant by his more recent comments. What is also unclear is who, if anyone, would attend such a White House gathering should one take place. On the same day as Trump tweeted the invitation, U.S. player Ali Krieger wrote on Twitter that she would stand by Rapinoe and “sit this one out as well.”
Fellow U.S. captain Alex Morgan said before the World Cup that the team would not accept an invitation from Trump, although on Friday she told the Hill, “I think we will make that decision after we finish Sunday’s game.”
But there still might be a trip to Washington in the champions’ near future. Late last month, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted that the players are welcome “for a tour of the House of Representatives anytime they’d like.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) tweeted a similar invitation on Sunday evening.
Rapinoe replied to Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet, “Consider it done.”