Philadelphia Mayor Calls Trump a 'Fragile Egomaniac' After President Cancels Eagles' White House Visit

"Disinviting them from the White House only proves that our President is not a true patriot, but a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size," Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement

Less than 24 hours before the Philadelphia Eagles were scheduled to go to the White House, Donald Trump pulled the plug on their visit — and the mayor of the City of Brotherly love is not pleased.

The NFL team was set to celebrate their Super Bowl LII victory with the president during a presentation on the South Lawn Tuesday afternoon, even as many players, including safety Malcolm Jenkins and defensive end Chris Long, publicly expressed their dislike for Trump ahead of the event.

“The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country,” Trump said in a statement Monday evening.

“The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better. These fans are still invited to the White House to be part of a different type of ceremony—one that will honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem,” he continued in the statement.

Trump concluded, “I will be there at 3:00 p.m. with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus to celebrate America.”

President Trump Hosts The 2018 White House Business Session With U.S. Governors
Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg/Getty

Later in the evening, Trump tweeted again that he had canceled the Eagles’ White House visit, and acknowledged the ongoing NFL kneeling controversy.

“The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!” he tweeted.

But the president’s cancellation did not sit well with Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney, who issued a scorching statement afterwards and declared that the president appears to be a “fragile egomaniac.”

“The Eagles call the birthplace of our democracy home, so it’s no surprise that this team embodies everything that makes our country and our city great. Their athletic accomplishments on the field led to an historic victory this year. Fans all across the country rallied behind them because we like to root for the underdog and we feel joy when we see the underdogs finally win. I’m equally proud of the Eagles’ activism off the field. These are players who stand up for the causes they believe in and who contribute in meaningful ways to their community. They represent the diversity of our nation—a nation in which we are free to express our opinions,” he said in a statement.

“Disinviting them from the White House only proves that our President is not a true patriot, but a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend.

“City Hall is always open for a celebration,” he concluded.

The Eagles also released a statement about the rescinded invitation, but declined to mention Trump directly.

“It has been incredibly thrilling to celebrate our first Super Bowl Championship. Watching the entire Eagles community come together has been an inspiration. We are truly grateful for all of the support we have received and we are looking forward to continuing our preparations for the 2018 season,” they wrote.

But some players, including wide receiver Torrey Smith, were more pointed in their comments about the rescinded invite — and called out Trump for his various “lies.”

In an unusual step, the White House issued another statement about the event on Tuesday, and wrote that the Eagles “decided to abandon their fans.”

“Late Friday, citing the fact that many players would not be in attendance, the team contacted the White House again, and attempted to reschedule the event. The President, however, had already announced that he would be traveling overseas on the dates the Eagles proposed. The White House, despite sensing a lack of good faith, nonetheless attempted to work with the Eagles over the weekend to change the event format that could accommodate a smaller group of players. Unfortunately, the Eagles offered to send only a tiny handful of representatives, while making clear that the great majority of players would not attend the event, despite planning to be in D.C. today. In other words, the vast majority of the Eagles team decided to abandon their fans,” the statement reads in part.

Before Trump’s initial statement was released Monday, several local news outlets reported that some team members would be attending. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie met with the players and gave them the option to attend or decline, according to the Eagles Wire.

Super Bowl LII MVP and quarterback Carson Wentz previously said he would attend if most of his teammates planned on going.

Had the Eagles attended, they would have been the first team to visit Trump since he made comments about NFL players refusing to stand for the national anthem last fall.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears
Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS/Getty

In May, the league instituted a national anthem policy that removes a requirement for players to be on the field for the anthem and gives players the option to stay in the locker room. However, teams will be fined for any personnel that “do not show proper respect for the flag and Anthem” on the sidelines.

Following the announcement, Trump said those who didn’t “stand proudly” for the national anthem “shouldn’t be playing.”

“You shouldn’t be there,” Trump said in an interview with Fox & Friends. “Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem and the NFL owners did the right thing.”

The Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41-33 to win the franchise’s first-ever Lombardi Trophy.

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