Trump Skips Super Bowl National Anthem, Leaves Melania in Background to Greet College Cheerleaders
First Lady Melania Trump watched from the sidelines as President Donald Trump warmly greeted a group of college cheerleaders during a Super Bowl party at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Sunday
First Lady Melania Trump watched from the sidelines as President Donald Trump warmly greeted a group of college cheerleaders during a Super Bowl party at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Sunday.
Leaving his wife behind, the president shook hands with the cheerleaders after they performed for the first couple, congratulating the squad on a “great” performance.
“Thank you so much, that was so great, great job, great talent, enjoy the game,” Trump said, according to a pool report.
Mrs. Trump has been keeping a low profile since news broke last month of her husband’s alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels. (Trump has denied the claims through his lawyer Michael Cohen.) After abruptly cancelling a recent trip to Davos, Switzerland, with her husband, the first lady reportedly traveled to West Palm Beach, Florida, instead — further stirring speculation about a possible rift between the first couple.
While she did attend her husband’s first State of the Union last week, Mrs. Trump broke tradition by arriving separately to the address.
But the first lady was by her husband’s side on Sunday as they arrived to the Super Bowl party.
Ahead of the game, Trump issued a statement reemphasizing his opposition to NFL protests during the playing of the national anthem.
“Though many of our nation’s service members are unable to be home with family and friends to enjoy this evening’s American tradition, they are always in our thoughts and prayers,” Trump’s statement read. “We owe these heroes the greatest respect for defending our liberty and our American way of life. Their sacrifice is stitched into each star and every stripe of our Star-Spangled Banner. We hold them in our hearts and thank them for our freedom as we proudly stand for the national anthem.”
Later, all eyes were on the president to see how he would react if any players kneeled during the national anthem.
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But according to MSNBC and NBC News’ Dafna Linzer, Trump missed Pink’s performance of The Star-Spangled Banner entirely while greeting the cheerleaders at his party.
At any rate, the national anthem played out without any protests and the first couple then went inside to watch the game, leaving midway through the third quarter to fly back to Washington.
Trump later took to Twitter to congratulate the Eagles on winning the Super Bowl.
“Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles on a great Super Bowl victory!” he wrote.