International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday to discuss the Los Angeles bid to host an upcoming Summer Games.
Bach’s meeting with Trump was a closed-door meeting, not open to the press, and neither party disclosed exactly what occurred in the meeting. But, according to the Washington Post, after the meeting IOC spokesman Mark Adams said, “President Trump confirmed his support for the L.A. candidature.”
Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders added, “I know he’s certainly supportive of the committee.”
Thursday’s meeting was the first time President Trump has met with members of the IOC.
Despite being a political opponent of President Trump, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has noted that Trump is a supporter of L.A.’s bid for a Summer Games. Garcetti has insisted that his discussions with Trump about the Olympics “transcends politics.”
“This is something that’s transcended politics. Americans and American political leaders certainly have strong differences that I’m not shy about speaking out about, the president’s not shy about speaking out about,” Garcetti said after an IOC meeting last month.
“But there are things that bring us together, and this is one of them. This is maybe what makes this even more special and more important right now.”
“The president is willing to play whatever role that we ask, and that is needed,” Garcetti added.
Some worry that President Trump’s travel ban policies might lead to complications for Olympic teams from the targeted nations, but others note that the travel ban is focused on immigration, not people applying for the sort of special visas that an Olympic games would sponsor.
The U.S. Olympic Committee has reported that the Trump administration has promised to assure that travel visas for athletes will be expedited.
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