Donald Trump won’t leave this alone, because he can’t leave this alone, because this isn’t about patriotism or respecting the flag or honoring the troops or anything other than his own desire to stoke outrage and division in the name of political expediency. Via the White House press office:
Statement from the Press Secretary on the Change of Format for Today’s Event
After extensive discussions with the Eagles organization, which began in February, the team accepted an invitation from the President to attend a June 5 celebration of their victory in Super Bowl LII at the White House.
On Thursday, May 31, the team notified the White House of 81 individuals, including players, coaches, management, and support personnel, who would attend the event. On Friday, the Secret Service cleared them for participation. These individuals, along with more than 1,000 Eagles fans, were scheduled to attend the event.
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.
Upon learning these facts, the President decided to change the event so that it would be a celebration of the American flag with Eagles fans and performances by United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus.