US women’s football team ‘don’t want’ to meet Trump at White House, says Megan Rapinoe

‘We don’t want to go to the White House, so I figure that’s why the invitation hasn’t come,’ says co-captain

Jon Sharman
Tuesday 09 July 2019 10:24
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Megan Rapinoe says US Women's team accept Chuck Schumer's invite to congress but 'don't want to go to the White House'

The victorious US women’s football team will not visit the White House if invited by Donald Trump, its co-captain has said – but will take up an offer by the top Senate Democrat to visit the upper house of congress.

Megan Rapinoe said the team did not want to attend any congratulatory reception at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, reiterating the stance she took during the Women’s World Cup.

“We don’t want to go to the White House, so I figure that’s why the invitation hasn’t come,” the 33-year-old told reporters after the winning team returned to the US on Monday.

“Maybe he sent it by mail and it’s just sort of, slowly to get here.”

Speaking after Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, invited the team to the upper chamber instead, Ms Rapinoe added: “We’re very happy to accept your invitation to come.”

The US won their fourth World Cup title after defeating the Netherlands 2-0 on Sunday.

Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, said she had also invited the team to the Capitol ”by popular demand on both sides of the aisle”.

Mr Trump reacted angrily to Ms Rapinoe’s statement in June that she was “not going to the f***ing White House” if the team emerged victorious.

He tweeted that ”Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her [and] the team. Be proud of the Flag that you wear. The USA is doing GREAT!”

And this week the president appeared to backtrack on a promise to invite the team to his residence, saying that “we haven’t really thought about it” and “we’ll look at that”. He did congratulate the players, however, saying that “America is proud of you all”.

The timing of any congressional visit was unclear. Alex Morgan, who scored six goals in the tournament, said the players had not yet discussed the invitation, despite Ms Rapinoe’s acceptance.

“Of course, it would be great to do something as a team together like that, but we haven’t even had time to talk about that,” she told reporters in New York on Monday.

Additional reporting by AP

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