Megan Rapinoe Gets White House Invite From Biden Before Mitch McConnell

U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe has another win to add to her long list by scoring a coveted invitation to the White House from President Joe Biden—even as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he hasn't.

World Cup champion Rapinoe has been a leader in the U.S. women's national soccer team's fight for equal pay. The White House welcomed her on Wednesday to mark Equal Pay Day—the day each year that it would take the average woman to make as much money as her male counterpart did the previous year. Rapinoe was a vocal supporter of Biden's 2020 presidential bid.

Just hours before her meeting with Biden, McConnell, who represents Kentucky, complained to Fox News that he, as the leader of Senate Republicans in a razor-thin, 50-50 split chamber, had not received a personal invitation.

"I haven't been invited to the White House," McConnell said on Fox News' America's Newsroom. "So far this administration is not interested in doing anything on a bipartisan basis or in the political center."

McConnell claimed he had not spoken to Biden since the president's inauguration and later corrected to confirm they had since spoken by phone.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that there was no deeper meaning behind Biden's apparent McConnell snub.

"He's had a number of meetings, bipartisan meetings in the Oval Office, and he will continue to do those," Psaki said. "He has a long friendship with Leader McConnell, he has spoken with him—he speaks with him regularly."

She said there has been no formal plan for a bipartisan meeting with McConnell at the White House, in part because of COVID-19 restrictions and the administration's push to prioritize meetings that would lead to successful deals on legislation.

During an event with the president and first lady Jill Biden, Rapinoe spoke of the significance of her opportunity to visit the White House.

"There's not many—I can probably count them on half the hand—moments where I find myself without the words to say. And today I did when I walked into the Oval Office," she said. "I'm a member of the LGBTQ community with pink hair, and where I come from, I could have only dreamed that I would be standing in the position I am today at the White House."

Jill Biden, who added purple streaks to her hair for a video chat with Rapinoe during the 2020 campaign cycle, spoke of the personal inspiration that the fight for equal pay has had on her and praised Rapinoe and her teammates.

"You've shown us again and again and again that grit skill, and the ability to bring home championships have no gender," Jill Biden said. "In fact, you and your teammates put your careers on the line for this cause—when you saw your male colleagues being treated differently, you stood up, and you said 'enough.' That courage is why you are a hero to my grandchildren and fans around the world."

Updated 5:44 PM ET, with additional information.

Rapinoe Psaki
Professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe stands at the podium of the Brady Press Briefing Room before meeting with President Joe Biden on March 24, 2021 in Washington, DC. Rapinoe is visiting the White House on Equal Pay Day to raise awareness that women in the United States earned $0.82 for every dollar men earned in 2019, according to the National Committee on Pay Equity. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images