The New York Times has been slammed by the New England Patriots for posting misleading pictures of the team's visit to the White House on April 19.
The publication tweeted two photos: one taken during the team's 2015 meeting with former President Barack Obama, showing more than 100 representatives gathered on the South Lawn; the other taken during their latest White House, showing roughly 60 representatives posing in the same location with President Donald Trump.
Titled "Patriots' turnout for President Obama in 2015 vs. Patriots' turnout for President Trump today," the tweet triggered a reaction.
Whether the response was posted by team ownership, management or players themselves, remains unclear.
According to the Daily Mail, the response reads, "These photos lack context. Facts: In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs. In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn."
The response was posted at 8:45 p.m. EST, some four hours after The Times tweeted their observation.
The Times tweeted an update half an hour later: "Patriots say # of players was smaller this year than 2015 (34 vs. 50) but total delegation was roughly the same."
Just 15 minutes later, the Patriots account tweeted a photo for comparison, which contrasts a picture of the Patriots 2017 visit with one of the team visiting former President George W. Bush in 2004.
"Comparable photos: The last time the #Patriots won two Super Bowls in three years, 36 players visited the White House. Today, we had 34," they wrote.
"Who cares?" asked sports blog Chowder & Champions. "You're getting to [sic] caught up in all this."
Trump himself addressed the disagreement, tweeting: "Failing [The New York Times], which has been calling me wrong for two years, just got caught in a big lie concerning New England Patriots visit to W.H.," The Hill reports.
The owner of the team, Robert Kraft, has been a vocal Trump supporter, while a "Make America Great Again" hat was seen last year inside the locker of team quarterback Tom Brady.
Trump spoke during the ceremony about how head coach Bill Belichick had written him a "beautiful" letter before the 2016 election.
Brady, however, did not attend the event -- a fact not mentioned by Trump in his speech; the Super Bowl LI MVP cited family obligations as the reason for his absence.
"Hopefully, if we accomplish the goal of winning a championship in the future years, we will back on the South Lawn again soon. Have a great day."
Trump's latest social media scuffle is reminiscent of his Twitter beef with several media outlets after they reported that fewer people had attended his inauguration compared to that of Obama.