Women's World Cup 2019: Megan Rapinoe stands by White House comments after Trump tweets

When asked about make a potential trip to Washington D.C., Rapinoe said she was "not going to the f—ing White House."

Rapinoe was asked on Tuesday about a potential visit to the White House if the Americans were to win the World Cup, but she was candid in her response, saying she was "not going to the f—ing White House."   -  Getty Images

U.S. women's national team star Megan Rapinoe opened up her Thursday press conference with a statement regarding the recent media attention she's received related to her recent White House comments, President Donald Trump and her national anthem protests.

"I stand by the comments that I made about not wanting to go to the White House, with the exception of the explicit — my mom will be upset about that," Rapinoe said on Thursday ahead of the Americans' quarterfinal matchup against France.

Rapinoe was asked on Tuesday about a potential visit to the White House if the Americans were to win the World Cup, but she was candid in her response, saying she was "not going to the f—ing White House."

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"Obviously entering with a lot of passion considering how much time and effort and pride we take in the platform that we have and using it for good and for leaving the game in a better place and hopefully the world in a better place," Rapinoe explained.

"I don't think that I would want to go (to the White House), but I would encourage my teammates to think hard about lending that platform or having that co-opted by an administration that doesn't feel the same way or fight for the same things that we fight for. I'll just leave it at that and I'm not interested in answering any of those questions. We can get to the real reason we're here, which is a huge game." 

Rapinoe was asked later in the press conference about the reasoning behind why she protests during the national anthem by refusing to sing or put her hand over her heart. However, she deflected the question. 

"I prefer to keep it about the game for now," Rapinoe said, while adding she'd be more willing to address the topic again after the tournament.

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USWNT coach Jill Ellis also was pressed about her team's response to the media attention, calling the team's focus on the tournament "phenomenal."

"The personality of our players, that's part of the makeup of the players," Ellis explained. "They're elite people that live on a stage that are always under scrutiny. This team has a remarkable focus. We all support Megan. She knows that. We know we have each others backs in there. For our players, there's only one purpose, one mission that we're here. Comments, media, whatever — that's always been something we can block out pretty easily."

Rapinoe's White House comments sparked a strong response Wednesday from Trump on Twitter. The president wrote, in part:

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"I am a big fan of the American Team (sic), and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!" Trump tweeted. "We haven’t yet invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose. Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team. Be proud of the Flag that you wear. The USA is doing GREAT!"

As Ellis stated, the national team plans to put the media distractions behind them as they prepare for Friday's quarterfinal match against France.