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Barletta, Casey on separate sides in Trump, Eagles feud

June 5, 2018

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania planned to attend a White House ceremony Tuesday without the Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles after President Donald Trump canceled their visit, but Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey said he would skip it and invited the Eagles to visit Capitol Hill instead.

Barletta, who is challenging Casey’s re-election bid in November, said he would be at the White House “representing the proud Pennsylvanians who stand for our flag.” However, none of the Eagles kneeled during the anthem in 2017.

Trump said he would hold a different White House ceremony to honor veterans and the nation. Casey called it a “political stunt” and said he’s proud of what the Eagles accomplished. In a Twitter message, Casey offered the Eagles a tour of the Capitol.

Pennsylvania’s Republican candidate for governor, Scott Wagner, a Trump supporter, took a middle road.

“Scott believes it’s unfortunate that politics have invaded everything we do and thinks we should be able to put political differences aside long enough to celebrate a team winning the Super Bowl,” his campaign said.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, a persistent Trump critic, said through his office that “no amount of political silliness in Washington will damper our enthusiasm or take away the victory for the Eagles or their fans.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, an Eagles fan from suburban Philadelphia, said on Twitter that Trump had handled the matter poorly and that he would not go to the White House.

“This is a depressing commentary on our political culture, very deflating to me,” Costello wrote.

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