President Donald Trump hosted members of the U.S. military and patriotic NFL fans on Tuesday for a “celebration of America.”
The event was originally supposed to be celebrating the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl victory, but it was canceled by the president after it was revealed “less than 10” members of the team planned to attend.
Instead, Trump used the opportunity to honor America’s military and explain why “we stand” for the national anthem.
“I want to take this opportunity to explain why young Americans stand for our national anthem. Maybe it’s about time we understood,” Trump said. “We stand to honor our military and to honor our country, and to remember the fallen heroes who never made it back home. We stand to show our love for our fellow citizens and our magnificent Constitution. We stand to pay tribute to the incredible Americans who came before us, and the heroic scarifies they made.”
Trump went on to tout how well the country is doing under his administration, saying America has “never done better than it’s doing right now.”
“Record numbers at every outpost,” he added.
Trump later joined the crowd in singing “God Bless America.”
Trump explained his decision to rescind the team's invitation to the White House in a statement on Monday, linking it to the NFL's national anthem protests.
"The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow," Trump said. "They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor the great men and women of our military and the people of our country. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better."
Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith insisted the team protesting the White House visit wasn't over the national anthem, setting the stage for an ongoing feud between NFL players and President Trump.
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