The Patriots last visited the White House in 2015 after winning Super Bowl XLIX, and the New York Times tweeted photos that made it seem that there were far fewer people at the White House this time around.
The president, who has previously criticized the newspaper, tweeted Thursday that the Times "just got caught in a big lie" in regards to the Massachusetts-based football team's Wednesday visit to the White House.
But as the Patriot's official Twitter account soon pointed out, there were substantial differences between the images compared above.
President Donald Trump stands with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, left, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, right, and members of the New England Patriots during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, where he honored the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots for their Super Bowl LI victory.
The Patriots responded four hours later to the Times' post, tweeting: "These photos lack context". That turned out not to be the case, but there was a new crowd size controversy involving the Trump administration that had people- including the president himself- talking Thursday morning.
"A Patriots spokesman, Stacey James, said Wednesday night that 34 players had attended, similar to the turnout when President George W. Bush hosted them in 2004 and 2005. In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn", the team said on its Twitter account.
The Times clarified later Wednesday that the Patriots said fewer players had attended the White House event in 2017 but that the size of the delegations were roughly the same.
The number two years ago approached 50, the Times added.
The organization said 34 players visited the White House Wednesday.
The sports media, which the writers themselves admit has become a very liberal profession, continue to celebrate athletes for boycotting the Trump White House or stating in advance that they would do so.