Nate Weber, a U.S. Olympic bobsledding competitor and active-duty U.S. Army Green Beret, is on the defensive after his daughters hung out with and posed for pictures with First Daughter Ivanka Trump and her own daughters, Yahoo News is reporting. Weber is the latest U.S. Olympian to find themselves embroiled in controversy over the presence of Trump administration officials at the Pyeongchang games.
The Winter Olympics have officially ended, but a few athletes have been hanging around Pyeongchang, enjoying the moment and getting in a few last laughs before returning to their day jobs, and Nate Weber is one of them. On Sunday, Weber posted a few pictures on Twitter of himself and his two daughters hanging out with Ivanka Trump and her own daughters. Ivanka has been in town to unofficially represent her father’s administration at the games.
The tweet that seems to have started the controversy, however, comes not from Weber, but from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She posted a seemingly-innocuous photo of Weber holding up his daughters, one in each hand, as the the two young girls admired their father’s medals. Sanders’ post thanked the military service member for his service, not mentioning Ivanka Trump (or anyone else connected to the Trump administration) at all.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) February 25, 2018
It was Weber’s response that mentioned Ivanka, and that got the ball rolling on the hate that he would later receive.
Regardless of your politics you have to admit that it’s pretty cool when @IvankaTrump invites your kids to watch the #Olympics with her. It was an amazing experience for them. #teamusa https://t.co/4zKzMZh8JQ
— Nate Weber (@NateWeberActual) February 25, 2018
In fact, several Twitter users didn’t think it was cool at all that Weber would associate with Ivanka Trump in any way.
No. I really don’t have to admit that
If I had kids I wouldn’t let them within 100 feet of her.
— Jen Fitzgerald (@Jenfitzlaw) February 25, 2018
What is it about Ivanka that makes association with her to be pretty cool? She is a part of treason committed against the US, and owns sweat shops on the side. Valiant memory?
— JR Rothenberg (@JR_Rothenberg) February 25, 2018
— Michael James Reed (@mikejimreed) February 25, 2018
In response, Weber posted a photo of his daughters and Ivanka, noting that his own girls and Ivanka’s daughters quickly became best friends, politics aside.
Here’s another tweet for everyone that didn’t like @IvankaTrump being absolutely wonderful to my children. Her and my daughters were like best friends today. It was a truly special experience for them. #thankyou pic.twitter.com/u6hlVUJonz
— Nate Weber (@NateWeberActual) February 25, 201
Nate Weber is not the first athlete competing at the Pyeongchang Olympics to find their self in a controversy that has nothing to do with the games and everything to do with politics. Before the games even began, a then-weeks-old controversy surrounding openly-gay figure skater Adam Rippon and Vice President Mike Pence came front-and-center again. Rippon had publicly stated that he would not meet with or take a phone call from Pence, whom Rippon believes is anti-gay. Similarly, as reported by the Inquisitr, another openly-gay U.S. athlete, Gus Kenworthy, wondered aloud (on social media) what Ivanka Trump was even doing at the Olympics.