SHOWS: PARIS, FRANCE (JUNE 27, 2019) (REUTERS - SEE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE USE) 1.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. TEAM CO-CAPTAIN, MEGAN RAPINOE, SAYING IN OPENING REMARKS OF THE NEWS CONFERENCE: "I stand by the comments that I made about not wanting to go to the White House with the exception of the expletive, my mum will be very upset about that, but I think obviously entering with a lot of passion considering how much time and effort and pride we take in the platform that we have and using it for good and for leaving the game in a better place, and hopefully the world in a better place, I don't think that I would want to go and I would encourage my teammates to think hard about lending that platform or having that co-opted by an administration that doesn't feel the same way and doesn't fight for the same things that we fight for." 2.
WHITE FLASH 3.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. TEAM CO-CAPTAIN, MEGAN RAPINOE, SAYING: "I'm not worried about destabilising the dressing room, I think we have an incredibly strong dressing room.
You know we're very open with each other, obviously everyone knows who I am, but I didn't make the comments at a press conference here, they were made months ago and just kind of re-surfacing so, I think if anything it just fires up everybody a little bit more." STORY: U.S. co-captain Megan Rapinoe re-iterated on Thursday (June 27) her position of refusing to go to the White House if invited by President Donald Trump following comments she made in the recent past about whether she'd go if invited.
Her explicit response generated a response from Trump, who said Rapinoe was disrespecting the country, before adding that he would invited the team to the White House whether or not they win or lose the tournament in France.
Rapinoe said she did not want to 'lend a platform' to a government that she feels does not fight for the same issues she fights for, before urging her teammates to consider making a similar boycott.
The 33-year-old midfielder dismissed suggestions her political remarks would divide the dressing room, saying her teammates will use the controversy to be more motivated in their quarter-final clash against host nation France on Friday (June 28).
France and the United States were the pre-tournament favourites to lift the trophy and they have been on a crash course since December, when the draw suggested they would meet in the quarter-finals if both teams topped their groups.
If the French win, it would be the first time in tournament history the United States have failed to advance to the semi-finals.