White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed Wednesday that the Chicago Cubs will be coming to the White House next week.
“I’m pleased to confirm that many of my colleagues here in the West Wing who are themselves Cubs fans will get to enjoy exactly the same thing when the Chicago Cubs come to the White House on Monday,” Earnest said at the White House daily press briefing.
A “significant majority” of the Cubs’ roster was able to travel to Washington, D.C., that day, a source familiar with the matter said. Three members of the Ricketts family, which owns the team — Tom, Laura and Todd Ricketts — will be traveling with the players to the White House. Pete Ricketts, the fourth Cubs board member, won’t be able to attend.
President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Todd Ricketts to be Deputy Secretary of Commerce. The Ricketts family traditionally has been a major backer of Republican candidates — Pete Ricketts is the Republican governor of Nebraska — with the exception of Laura Ricketts, who has been a major Democratic fund-raiser and Obama supporter.
The Obama White House had been pushing for the visit to occur before Trump is sworn in on Jan. 20, the source said.
Earnest, the White House press secretary, said Obama is “really looking forward to” the Cubs’ visit.
“I think anybody who is a sports fan, even if you’re not a baseball fan and not a Cubs fan, appreciated
the historic run that the Chicago Cubs had through the play-offs and to a World Series title this year,” he said. “Obviously a seven-game series that was historic and exciting, and this is a young team that’s equipped to make many future visits to the White House I think.”
Earnest acknowledged “this visit is actually being scheduled earlier than normal. For example, the Royals obviously won in November of 2015 and they didn’t visit the White House until July of the next year. The Cubs are coming just a couple of months after securing their World Series title, and I think that’s an indication that we’ve been able to work effectively with the front office of the Chicago Cubs to schedule a visit. And I know President Obama and other members of the White House staff are really looking forward to it.”