Gisele Bundchen bans hubby Tom Brady from Donald Trump's White House

The Patriots last met the President (then Barack Obama) following a win over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. The same personnel stood on the steps behind team players and Obama in 2015.

A New York Times sports editor took responsibility for the tweet on Thursday.

As you can see in the team's explanation, the 2015 photo included 40 members of the Patriots' staff who weren't on the stairs for the 2017 photo.

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. We had people today who were attending funerals, who were sick.

Photos shot by Getty Images appear to show hundreds of additional spectators taking in Trump's congratulatory speech from the White House lawn, which provided the president with the ammunition he needed.

Despite the Patriots' response, The New York Times received more than 30,000 retweets within 7 hours.

Among the athletes not in attendance was quarterback Tom Brady, who announced Wednesday morning that he would be absent for "family matters".

"No team has been this good for this long", Trump said during the ceremony on Wednesday.

I would imagine if Donald Trump gets a look at this he'll claim it was photoshopped and that way more players were there. In 2015, the Patriots had won their first Super Bowl in 11 years and most of the players were enjoying their first opportunity to visit the White House.

The Patriots said: "Approximately half of the Super Bowl LI squad accepted the invitation to be honoured by Donald J Trump, America's 45th president". 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.

In all, 34 players were present for the Wednesday afternoon ceremony on the South Lawn, a total similar to the team's past visits in 2004 and 2005 but noticeably fewer than in 2002 and 2015.

  • Julie Sanders