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President Donald Trump is presented with a jersey from Louisiana State University Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow during an event to honor the 2019 NCAA football national champions, the Louisiana State University Tigers, in the East Room of the White House, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON — The LSU Tigers continued celebrating their national championship win with a ceremony at the White House with President Donald Trump on Friday punctuated with several joking moments, a recounting of the team's defeat over Clemson and little politics.

Here's what Trump said about the first time he saw Coach Ed Orgeron: "I said 'He's a big, strong-looking guy.' I didn't know if he had laryngitis or what."

On Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow's future: "He's gonna be so rich."

About the political fight that he now finds himself in: "You've got a good (president) now, even though they're trying to impeach the son of a bitch."

And comparing the LSU team to the United States military: "We took out those terrorists like — like your football team would have taken out those terrorists, right?"


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A packed room of LSU fans, including Republican politicians from Louisiana like Attorney General Jeff Landry, Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, Senate President Page Cortez and several other state lawmakers, cheered and laughed as the president gave a near play-by-play recounting of LSU's 42-25 win over Clemson at the Superdome in New Orleans — a game Trump attended.

“Congratulations and (geaux) Tigers," Trump said before handing the mic to Orgeron and Burrow, who presented the president with a team jersey — No. 45 and Trump's name emblazoned on the back.

"I thought he was going to give me the Heisman Trophy," Trump deadpanned. "He's just giving me a jersey."

Burrow notably used his Heisman-winning speech to highlight hunger and poverty in his hometown in Ohio. Trump didn't directly address the concerns raised in that speech and instead kept the mood light as players stood behind him and said Burrow dedicated his trophy to "the kids" from his hometown.

Burrow spoke briefly, thanking the president for having the team to the White House so soon after their win so that seniors could make the trip.

"I'll keep this short and sweet because I'm sure the president has more pressing matters to get to. It's truly an honor to be here," he said. "It's a moment we will never forget and a great way to cap off the season."

The White House visit ended with a tour and players getting a chance to take individual photos with Trump at the storied Resolute desk in the Oval Office. 

"He showed so much love to everyone on our team," Burrow told reporters after. "I don't care if you're a Republican, Democrat — I don't care about politics at all — that was an awesome experience for everybody."

Earlier in the day, the team toured the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The team ended their Washington visit with a tour of the U.S. Capitol, led by U.S. House GOP Whip Steve Scalise and other members of the Louisiana delegation.

For many of the team members, including Coach Ed Orgeron, it was their first time inside the Capitol. Scalise, a Capitol history buff, explained the historical significance of the building.

"This is a thing we will all remember," Orgeron said. 

Outside the Capitol, LSU fans, many of them bundled up in purple and gold scarves and hats for the 35-degree weather, greeted the team and cheered them on as they took a customary photo on the Capitol steps. 

A day after their return to Baton Rouge, the team will be feted with a parade and fan celebration.

But with the threat of rain looming Saturday, LSU officials are keeping the parade short.

"We're doing trailer-style floats wrapped with graphics and filled with players and coaches," Robert Munson, the university's senior associate athletic director, said Thursday. "We're going to have about six to eight of them. It's not going to be very long."

Forecasters with the National Weather Service say the chance of rain will grow through Saturday morning and reach of 60 percent in the afternoon, after the parade is over. The temperature should be 73 when the parade starts at the LSU School of Music at 11 a.m.

The parade would roll in rain but will be canceled if the weather is more severe, Munson said. If that happens, the National Championship Celebration inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center will still begin at noon. The arena's gates open at 10:30 a.m.; seating is general admission, and floor seats will be reserved for guests of the team and university.

If the crowd cannot fit into the PMAC, LSU will erect a screen outside, weather permitting, so fans can view the festivities, the school said Friday.

Staff writer Terry Jones contributed to this report from Baton Rouge.

Email Elizabeth Crisp at ecrisp@theadvocate.com and follow on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.