BOSTON (CBS) – The Super Bowl champion New England Patriots are expected to receive an invitation to visit the White House in the near future. According to a new report, President Trump wants his friend, owner Robert Kraft, to be in attendance despite concerns by aides about optics amid Kraft’s current legal troubles.
Poltico reports that White House aides are worried Kraft being in attendance at the visit could “turn a feel-good photo op into an embarrassing media spectacle” due to the Patriots owner facing charges for prostitution.
Trump, the report says, has spoken to Kraft since the owner was charged in Jupiter, Fla. with paying for sex acts inside the Orchids of Asia massage parlor. The president’s only public comment on Kraft’s case came in February.
“Well it’s very sad. I was very surprised to see it,” Trump said in response to a reporter’s question at the time. “He’s proclaimed his innocence totally. But I’m very surprised to see it.”
The Patriots are waiting to hear from the White House on a specific date for their 2019 visit. In 2015 and 2017, the Patriots made the trip to Washington in April. Once they have a date, they can reach out to players to find out who can make the trip to Washington. Kraft has made all five previous trips to the White House, and the Patriots told WBZ-TV the expectation is that he will this time as well.
Kraft’s case is due back in a Florida court on March 28. He is not required to attend.