- REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo
- The captain of the US Women’s National Team said she had accepted initiations to meet with top Democrats and would meet with any lawmaker willing to have “a real substantive conversation.”
- Megan Rapinoe said the World Cup-winning team wants to visit Washington has accepted invitations from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.
- Her comments come as US President Donald Trump appears to backtrack on his earlier invite to the team to the White House.
- Rapinoe and Trump sparred after she said she wouldn’t go to the White House if invited, and Trump said that she needed to “win before she talks.”
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Megan Rapinoe, the captain of the World Cup-winning US Women’s National Team, said the team has accepted invitations to visit top Democrats in congress, and is willing to meet with any lawmaker who wants a “a real substantive conversation”
Rapinoe told CNN on Tuesday that she accepted invitations she and the team received from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez to visit Congress.
She said of her team mates that “everyone is interested in going to Washington.”
Rapinoe said that the team would also be willing to meet with Republican lawmakers if they are willing to have “real” conversations about issues that the team believes in.
“This is such a special moment for us, and to be able to sort of leverage this moment and talk about the things that we want to talk about and to celebrate like this with the leaders of our country is an incredible moment,” she told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
“So 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 real substantive conversation, and that believes in the same things that we believe in.”
Rapinoe’s comments come as the the status of Trump’s invitation to the team remains unclear.
Trump previously said that the team was invited “win or lose,” but he has not mentioned any invite since the victory, and when asked about the invite on Sunday he told reporters: “We haven’t really thought about it.
“We will look at that, certainly.”
Trump’s initial invite was prompted by Rapinoe’s comments that she was “not going to the f—— White House” if the team won the tournament, and she said that she doubted that they would be invited.
“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,” he then said.
Rapinoe told CNN on Tuesday that she regretted swearing, but stood by her comments about visiting the White House.
“I would not go, and every teammate that I’ve talked to explicitly about it would not go,” she said. “I don’t think that we want that to be co-opted or corrupted by this administration.”
She said that there “were so many other people that I would rather talk to and have meaningful conversations that could really affect change in Washington than going to the White House.”
She also delivered a message to Trump, turning to the camera and saying: “Your 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 Americans that maybe support you.”
"Your 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… Americans that maybe support you."
— CNN (@CNN) July 10, 2019
She said that his “Make America Great Again” slogan means the president is “harking back to an era that was not great for everyone.”
Rapinoe is an anti-gender discrimination and LGBTQ rights activists, and is among the players who filed an equal pay lawsuit against US Soccer in March 2019.
She has defended herself against criticisms of being “anti-American” by saying that she is “particularly and uniquely and very deeply American.”
“If we want to talk about the ideals that we stand for, all the songs and the anthem and sort of what we were founded on, I think I’m extremely American,” she said last week.