The New England Patriots and President Trump criticized The New York Times for tweeting a photo comparison that suggested a smaller turnout for the team's latest Super Bowl celebration.
The tweet from The Times sports account appeared to show more attendees at the 2015 Super Bowl celebration with President Barack Obama than at yesterday's ceremony with Trump.
— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) April 19, 2017
The Patriots then responded on Twitter, saying that the photos lack context, since the football staff sat on the South Lawn yesterday instead of standing on the stairs like they did two years ago.
These photos lack context. Facts: In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs. In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn. https://t.co/iIYtV0hR6Y
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 20, 2017
A short time later the Times issued an update, saying the Patriots told them fewer players attended this year but that the total delegation was roughly the same.
UPDATE: Patriots say # of players was smaller this year than 2015 (34 vs. 50) but total delegation was roughly the same. pic.twitter.com/Ij77Def8z5
— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) April 20, 2017
President Trump then took to Twitter to slam the "failing" Times for getting caught in the "big lie."
Failing @nytimes, which has been calling me wrong for two years, just got caught in a big lie concerning New England Patriots visit to W.H.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2017
The original Times photo went viral, getting re-tweeted about 46,000 times, while the "update" tweet that clarified the turnout received only about 500 re-tweets.
Several Patriots players have made headlines in recent months by declaring they would not attend the White House celebration. Quarterback Tom Brady skipped the event, citing "personal family matters."
Watch the "Mornings With Maria" panel react above.