WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will turn sports fan for an evening as he watches No. 1 Louisiana State University and No. 3 Clemson battle it out in the College Football Playoff Championship.
The game is set for the New Orleans Superdome on Monday night and Trump was flying down, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump.
As the couple departed the White House, Trump said the game is “something that a lot of people want to see. We look forward it.”
Trump took in an LSU game in November when the team went up against Alabama.
He also met with many of Clemson’s coaches and players when they visited the White House in January 2019 after winning last season’s national championship. That visit occurred during a partial government shutdown. With much of the White House staff on furlough, Trump arranged for a fast food buffet of burgers and pizza. White House cups bearing the presidential seal held the fries.
Monday’s game featuring two undefeated teams will offer Trump with a brief break from another turbulent period in his presidency as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi prepares to send two articles of impeachment to the Senate and tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to simmer.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who predicted a championship for Clemson, said he would fly to Louisiana with Trump aboard Air Force One to take in the game. Graham is an outspoken supporter of Trump who opposes the president’s impeachment.
While Trump has routinely sparred with professional athletes during his time in office, college football has managed to avoid similar political controversies.
The president attended the Army-Navy football game last month and was warmly welcomed at the LSU-Alabama game.
“Regardless of your political views, that’s pretty cool, having the president at the game,” LSU quarterback Joe Burrow said at the time.
Trump drew a mixed response last fall when taking in a mixed martial arts match in New York City. He also was jeered and booed at a World Series game in Washington.