President Trump’s played coy this week, telling reporters he hasn’t yet thought about whether he would invite the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team to the White House following their domination at the 2019 World Cup in France over the weekend.
But he shouldn’t bother considering it, according to team co-captain Megan Rapinoe.
“I would not go and every teammate I’ve talked to explicitly about it would not go,” Rapinoe told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday evening. Rapinoe has emerged as vocal representative of the team in recent weeks following a scrap with Trump. Rapinoe was one of the first to follow former NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s lead in kneeling for the National Anthem, a move that drew criticism from the President.
Rapinoe made more headlines when footage of her saying she wouldn’t go to the “fucking White House” went viral in the days leading up to the final match.
“I don’t think anyone on the team has any interest in lending the platform that we’ve worked hard to build and the things that we fight for and the way that we live our life — I don’t think we want that to be co-opted or corrupted by this administration,” Rapinoe added when Cooper asked about the prospects of a White House visit.
Toward the end of the interview, Cooper mentioned that Trump was very likely watching her appearance on CNN and asked if she had a message for the President. Turning directly to face the camera, Rapinoe told Trump that his “message is excluding people.”
“You’re excluding me, you’re excluding people that look like me. You’re excluding people of color. You’re excluding, you know, Americans that maybe support you,” she said. “I think that we need to have a reckoning with the message that you have and what you’re saying about Make America Great Again. I think that you’re harking back to an era that was not great for everyone. It might have been great for a few people and maybe America’s great for a few people right now, but it’s not great for enough Americans in this world.”
Rapinoe speaks directly to Trump: "Your message is excluding people." pic.twitter.com/N4yU2kham2
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) July 10, 2019
Rapinoe added she was “definitely” interested in visiting some top Democrats in Washington, D.C., like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)
“Yes to AOC, yes to Nancy Pelosi, yes to the bipartisan Congress, yes to Chuck Schumer, yes to anyone else that wants to invite us and have a substantive conversation and believe in the same things we believe in,” she said.