- CBS News/Twitter
The Chicago Cubs have had a whirlwind 24 hours.
On Tuesday night after the Cubs gave up seven steals to the Washington Nationals, catcher Miguel Montero made headlines after criticizing starting pitcher Jake Arrieta. By Wednesday morning it was reported that Montero would be cut from the team.
By Wednesday afternoon, many members of the Cubs roster were visiting President Donald Trump at the White House.
The trip was not an official visit, as the Cubs had already gone to the White House in January before President Barack Obama left office, but with the team in town to play the Nationals, a stop by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was seemingly not that difficult to arrange.
The visit was supposedly so unofficial that Cubs manager Joe Maddon said meeting Trump was only “a possibility.” But Trump would end up taking a moment out of his busy schedule to stand for pictures with the team and the World Series trophy.
But the Cubs weren’t the only sports-related visit the president had pencilled into his daybook – Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was also present at the White House on Wednesday, and Trump was quick to invite him into the room where he was hosting the Cubs.
“Where’s Dan? Where’s Dan Gilbert? He’s right outside – grab him. Where’s Dan? Dan Gilbert just came in.” Trump said, “He’s the basketball – he’s looking for a good basketball player. Anybody play basketball?”
Gilbert made a light joke saying,”This is tough for a guy from Cleveland,” a reference to the Cleveland Indians loss to the Cubs in the World Series that made the room laugh. Trump then encouraged Gilbert to join the Cubs for a picture.
It has still not been reported why Gilbert was visiting the White House in the first place, leaving many on Twitter confused as to why the Cavaliers owner was there in the first place.
a lot of weird things have occurred with this WH but Dan Gilbert being there with the Cubs is my dark horse for the weirdest.
— Stephen Jackson (@sdjacksondc) June 28, 2017
Maybe Dan Gilbert was visiting the White House to get intel on a Russian basketball prospect.
— Ryan (@Isley23) June 28, 2017
It’s almost like Dan Gilbert is actively trying to get LeBron to leave.
— Hollywood Chopz (@Pchopz_) June 28, 2017
Gilbert wasn’t the only franchise owner that Trump would shake hands with during the photo-op.
Trump also gave a bit of special attention to Todd Ricketts, whose family owns the Cubs and who was nominated to be Trump’s deputy commerce secretary but would later withdraw his nomination. “We wanted him in the administration,” said Trump. “And after about 9,000 pages of filings he said, ‘The heck with it.'”
The Ricketts family has a fairly odd relationship with Trump. During the primaries, the family reportedly spent $5.5 million on negative ads against then-candidate Trump, leading Trump to send what appeared to be a poorly veiled threat to the family.
I hear the Rickets family, who own the Chicago Cubs, are secretly spending $'s against me. They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2016
Once the primaries were over and Trump was the Republican nominee, the two sides let bygones be bygones and the Ricketts pledged to spend seven-figures to help get Trump elected, while Trump offered Todd Ricketts the aforementioned spot in his administration.
You can watch video of the visit below.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 28,2017