The Times - a publication Trump has attacked on numerous occasions - tweeted out a photo on Wednesday comparing the "turnout" the Pats had when they visited Barack Obama's White House in 2015 to Trump's White House this week.
The newspaper also added a photo of the Patriots' visit to the Obama White House in 2015 that showed a much larger contingent.
But as the Patriot's official Twitter account soon pointed out, there were substantial differences between the images compared above.
That said, there were in fact fewer players at yesterday's ceremony than at the one held two years ago.
The Patriots organization objected, tweeting back at the Times that "these photos lack context". Facts: In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs.
Photos shot by Getty Images appear to show hundreds of additional spectators taking in Trump's congratulatory speech from the White House lawn, which provided the president with the ammunition he needed. The Times reported that about 50 players attended the event in 2015. "In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn", the team said on its Twitter account.
A short time later the Times issued an update, saying the Patriots told them fewer players attended this year but that the total delegation was roughly the same.
While some players stated they were skipping the Trump event for political reasons, the team suggested that because it has won two Super Bowls in three seasons, the lack of novelty of a White House visit might have kept some players away.
The New England Patriots celebrated their Super Bowl LI victory by visiting the White House on Wednesday. "The photo from Wednesday only showed players and coaches; the 2015 photo showed players, coaches and support staff and has been removed". "Today, we had 34", the posting said. Quarterback Tom Brady, whom Trump has called a friend, was among the missing, citing "personal family matters".