Donald Trump might say this was the most highly attended championship team ceremony ever at the White House… but the pictures say otherwise.
Thirty-four Patriots players reportedly visited Washington D.C. on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate their improbable Super Bowl comeback victory over the Falcons in overtime.
But that number seems low when compared to the amount who showed up in 2015: A photo from when the team celebrated its Super Bowl XLIX win against the Seahawks with President Obama clearly shows Patriots players overflowing up the White House steps on the South Lawn to all fit in.
The Patriors chalk it up to the position of where players and staff were seated during the photo.
On Wednesday evening the team’s official Twitter account, responding to a New York Times article on the controversy, tweeted that the photos "lack context."
Regardless of the Patriots’ explanation, the stark contrast between both photos is being compared to when people shared side-by-side pictures from Obama’s first inauguration and Trump’s earlier this year on social media.
Although shots released by the National Park Service in March appeared to show a significantly smaller crowd at the most recent inauguration, Sean Spicer claimed at the time, "This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period — both in person and around the globe."
Former President Obama’s inauguration crowd (left) and President Trump’s inauguration crowd.
Neither Trump nor Spicer — whose Wednesday press briefing was interrupted by New England tight end Rob Gronkowski — have yet to comment on the Patriots’ attendance numbers Wednesday, but there’s one word they might try to use: bigly.