Donald Trump Jokes with Pittsburgh Penguins About NAFTA

Watch live: Trump welcomes NHL champion Penguins to White House

The Pittsburgh Penguins, the National Hockey League champions for the 2016-2017 season, toured the White House today (Oct. 10) and were warmly praised by president Donald Trump for their Stanley Cup win, their charitable giving, and their patriotism.

Trump proceeded to single out numerous Penguins' top stars, including team captain Sidney Crosby. Despite the controversy surrounding the Penguins' decision to attend the celebration, the Penguins visited the White House as tradition had always permitted and celebrated their victory. He also rescinded a White House invitation to National Basketball Association star Stephen Curry after the two-time MVP expressed reservations about going.

The Penguins was the first championship team honored at the White House since Trump called on NFL team owners last month to fire players who kneel during the national anthem to protest police violence against black Americans. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan denied this after meeting Trump at the White House, and said the team accepted the invitation as a "celebration of this group of players winning a championship".

Pittsburgh Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby told the Associated Press Monday that his team's visit to the White House involved "absolutely no politics". It's been a good experience.

The celebratory visit came amongst recent feuds Trump has had with the NFL over some players not standing for the national anthem, which Trump has blasted as disrespectful to the flag and the military. "Anytime you have an opportunity to visit the White House is an exciting opportunity". Unlike the NHL, US football teams are made up nearly exclusively of Americans, and 70% of the players are black.

"I think we've said before, this isn't us taking a stance".

Sullivan also said the team presented Trump with an undisclosed gift. "And I know why".

"First of all, he's a friend of mine for a long time", Trump said of Burkle. Oh, I would love to have Ron Burkle.

Trump then turned to Burkle and praised his ability to negotiate before inviting him to get involved in re-negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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