Was The New York Times ‘Caught in a Big Lie’ With Report on Patriots White House Visit?

Donald Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017. (Getty)

President Donald Trump on Thursday accused The New York Times of being caught in a “big lie” about the New England Patriots. So what is the president referring to here?

On Wednesday, the New England Patriots visited the White House and met with President Trump. Some players did not attend, including Tom Brady, who said that he had family matters to attend to.

The New York Times subsequently posted a photo on Twitter comparing the turnout with 2015, when the Patriots visited President Barack Obama at the White House; the photo shows a significantly smaller group during the Trump visit than during the Obama visit.

But the New England Patriots themselves soon objected to this comparison, explaining that in 2015, 40 people stood on the stairs in the photo, whereas this year, those 40 people were seated on the South Lawn.

The Patriots subsequently tweeted two photos comparing the Trump visit with a Patriots visit during the administration of George W. Bush, with the crowds in these two photos being roughly comparable.

The New York Times has since issued the following correction to the article linked in the original tweet:

An earlier version of this article included photos comparing the size of the Patriots’ gathering at the White House in 2015 and the gathering on Wednesday. The photo from Wednesday only showed players and coaches; the 2015 photo showed players, coaches and support staff and has been removed.

However, at this time, the original tweet is still up, and it has over 44,000 retweets. The idea that fewer Patriots visited the White House this year than usual even made its way onto late night comedy shows like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.