Megan Rapinoe on Trump's White House Invitation: We Don't Want to Be 'Co-opted or Corrupted By This Administration'

American professional women's soccer player Megan Rapinoe on Tuesday explained why the U.S. Women's National Team will not be accepting an invitation to visit the White House from President Donald Trump following their FIFA World Cup victory in an interview with CNN host Anderson Cooper.

During her one-on-one interview on Anderson Cooper 360, the host asked Rapinoe whether her team would accept an invitation to visit the White House, in light of Trump previously saying that he will extend an invite after the game regardless of whether they win or lose.

"I would not go and every teammate that I've talked to explicitly about it would not go," Rapinoe responded, prompting Cooper to ask "everyone you've talked to?"

"Everyone that I've talked to, yeah," she said. "I don't think anyone on the team has any interest in lending the platform that we've worked so hard to build and the things that we fight for and the way that we live our life. I don't think that we want that to be co-opted or corrupted by this administration."

When pressed by Cooper to elaborate, Rapinoe explained that a White House invitation "is an opportunity for this administration to, sort of, put us on display as their guests for the day."

"I don't think this makes sense for us at all," the U.S. co-captain continued. "I can't imagine anyone of my teammates would want to be put in that position. There's so many other people that I would rather talk to, and have meaningful conversations that could really affect change in Washington, than going to the White House."

Cooper then asked Rapinoe to issue a message to the president, who's likely to be tuning into her interview.

"Your message is excluding people. You're excluding me, you're excluding people that look like me, you're excluding people of color, you're excluding Americans that maybe support you," she said directly to the camera. "What you're saying about Make America Great Again, I think that you're harking back to an era that was not great for everyone. It might have been great for a few people and maybe America's great for a few people right now but it's not great for enough Americans."

"You have an incredible responsibility as the chief of this country to take care of every single person and you need to do better for everyone," she added.

Earlier today, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer announced that Rapinoe had accepted an invitation for the champs to visit Congress following their World Cup win. During his remarks on the Senate floor on Monday, Schumer extended the invitation and called for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put the Equal Pay Amendment, which the House has passed, on the floor of the Senate. "Let's act so we can help all women achieve equality. Equal work, equal pay," he said.

"Thank you, Chuck Schumer, for inviting us out. We are very happy to accept your invitation to come," Rapinoe said after the New York Senator extended the invitation.

Trump congratulated the team for its second-consecutive FIFA World Cup win on Sunday. "Congratulations to the U.S. Women's Soccer Team on winning the World Cup! Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all!," the president tweeted.

Megan Rapinoe
American professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe on Tuesday explained to CNN's Anderson Cooper why Team USA won't be accepting a possible invitation to visit the White House from President Donald Trump. CNN/Screenshot