Stanley Cup champion Penguins visit Trump at White House

'True champions and incredible patriots'

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump honored the Stanley Cup-winning Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, calling them "true champions and incredible patriots."

The president welcomed the Penguins into the Oval Office, and then, in a ceremony streamed live on from the East Room of the White House, he celebrated their second consecutive championship, singling out the achievements of playoff MVP Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and American Phil Kessel, among others.

President Trump has grabbed a number of sports headlines in recent weeks, including his criticism of NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem and his decision to disinvite the NBA champion Golden State Warriors to the White House.

He joked that Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle should help him renegotiate NAFTA but avoided any talk about other sports.

The Penguins are the fourth championship team and third pro team to visit President Trump at the White House after the NFL's New England Patriots, Major League Baseball's Chicago Cubs and college football's Clemson Tigers.

Crosby, coach Mike Sullivan and other members of the Penguins said their visit had nothing to do with politics. The team said in a statement it respected the tradition of visiting the White House.

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