Biden press secretary clarifies White House invitation is only for LSU after player calls it a ‘joke’

(CNN) First Lady Jill Biden appears to be pushing back on suggestions that the White House might invite LSU and Iowa women’s basketball teams after Tigers star Angel Reese called her “A JOKE” on Monday.

Speaking Monday, Biden congratulated both teams on their performance in Sunday’s national championship game, as well as highlighting the sportsmanship in Iowa specifically.

“Last night, I attended the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament,” Biden said while speaking at an event at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver.

So I know we’ll have the champs come to the White House, we always do. So, hopefully LSU will come but, you know, I’ll tell Joe [Biden] I think Iowa should come in too, because they had a good game.”

It is customary for the national champions to be invited to the White House, but not the runners-up. Reese tweeted a link to the story that included Biden’s comments, calling it a “joke” along with three emojis rolling on the floor laughing.

in an Instagram comment mail Of “The Shade Room” that included Reese’s tweet, the recently crowned NCAA champion said, “We’re not coming. Period.”

First Lady Press Secretary Vanessa Valdivia sought clarification on Biden’s comments on Tuesday, saying in a statement tweet that it “was meant to pay tribute to the historic game and all sports. It looks forward to celebrating the LSU Tigers in their championship win at the White House.”

The 20-year-old Reese played a key role in the Tigers’ 102-85 victory over the Hawkeyes to win their first national title in program history on Sunday. She was named the Most Valuable Player of the NCAA Women’s Tournament as a result of her outstanding performance.

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Before explaining Valdivia, ESPN host Stephen A. Echoing Reese’s sentiments, Smith responded to her tweet with, “I mean absolutely disrespectful to the first lady, but you are 1000% right.



Jill Biden speaks with guests during the 2023 Women’s National Basketball Tournament.

“That’s a bad suggestion. Runners-up are not invited to the White House. Why are we trying to change it now? I totally agree with you, Angel.”

Rep. Troy Carter, a Louisiana Democrat, voted in agreement with Reese.

“To the Honorable (President Biden) and (First Lady Biden),” Carter said. LSU won its first NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament title with a record-breaking score of 102-85.

“With no respect to the top players on the Iowa women’s team…they didn’t win!”

“LSU women’s basketball is the undisputed winner of the 2023 NCAA Tournament and should uniquely enjoy this historic victory.”

Reese’s colleague Alexis Morris asked if they could celebrate elsewhere, specifically at the home of a former first lady. “Michelle Obama, can we (LSU National Champions) come celebrate our victory at your house?” Reese responded to Morris’ tweet, saying, “This is what Twitter is.”

After LSU’s win Sunday, coach Kim Mulkey said she would go to the White House if the team was invited.

“I’m a ghetto too”

Sunday’s National Championship drew a record average of 9.9 million viewers, according to ESPN Sports Broadcasting. The game, which peaked at 12.6 million viewers, was the most watched NCAA Division I women’s basketball game ever across all networks.

Reese made headlines after LSU’s win, in particular when she called for a double standard in her reaction to her gesture toward Iowa guard Caitlin Clark.

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Reese can be seen approaching Clark before moving her open hand in front of her face – popularized by WWE superstar John Cena to mean “You can’t see me” – before pointing to her ring finger in a gesture that some have interpreted as a reference to where the championship ring might sit. that you have recently obtained.

Clark made a similar gesture to another player earlier in the tournament.

This gesture sparked a lot of controversy, especially on social media. Some criticized Reese, while others defended her actions, highlighting the lack of public outrage in response to Clark’s gesture earlier in the tournament.

In the post-win press conference, Reese noted the difference in the reaction she received as a result of her gesture compared to the signal Clarke received.

“All year long, I’ve been criticized for who I am. I just don’t fit into the novel,” Reese said. “I don’t fit into the box you want me to be in. I do. I’m very ghetto. They’ve all told me that all year. But when other people do, and you all say nothing.”

“This is for girls who look like me. For those who want to talk about what they believe in. It’s unapologetic. And that’s what I did tonight. It was bigger than me tonight. And Twitter is going to wallow in rage every time.”

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