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President Donald Trump became the first sitting president to attend the Army-Navy game in seven years on Saturday, and he wasn’t just sitting on the sidelines.
The president participated in the ceremonial coin toss before the 119th edition of the annual matchup. A crowd of 66,729 — many active duty military members — were at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia for the festivities.
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Trump seemed to get a warm reception from the fans — or, perhaps they were just happy that Navy won the coin toss — but then he got more applause when he honored the captains from both teams.
The president turned and shook hands with the captains for both the Midshipmen and the Black Knights.
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Trump had also publicized his appearance at the game on his Twitter account, tweeting a photo of the field shortly before Air Force One landed.
CNN reported that while the approach path to Philadelphia International Airport is normally close to Lincoln Financial Field, Air Force One made a special low pass over the stadium and dipped its right wing.
President - Official - Game - Defense - Secretary
The president was hardly the only military official attending the game. Defense Secretary James Mattis was there, as were Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Army Mark Esper and Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer.
According to CBS News, Trump was the 10th sitting president to attend the game. Theodore Roosevelt started the trend in 1901. Trump also attended as the president-elect in 2016, a little more than a month before he was sworn into office. He received a similar reaction from the crowd during that appearance.
Custom - President - Half - Game - Army
The custom is for the president to spend one half of the game on Army’s side of the field and one half on Navy’s, which Trump duly followed.
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