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Peyton Manning spotted with President Trump, Sen. Bob Corker on a golf outing

Peyton Manning, center, and Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), right, arrive on the South Lawn of the White House after a golf outing. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press)

Tom Brady was nowhere to be seen, but on Sunday another NFL MVP was spotted at the White House.

Peyton Manning, a year into his retirement, was seen photographed, along with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), on the South Lawn in golfing attire and with golf clubs, having returned with President Trump’s motorcade from Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va. By Sunday afternoon, Reuters had confirmed that they had joined Trump for a round.

On Sunday night, Trump attended a reception at Ford’s Theatre, where Manning and businessman Ronald Perelman were to receive the Lincoln Medal. According to the Ford’s Theatre website, the Lincoln Medal is “presented to individuals who, through their body of work, accomplishments or personal attributes, exemplify the lasting legacy and character embodied by President Lincoln.”

Manning’s presence at the White House wasn’t much of a surprise. Unlike Brady, who has artfully dodged questions about whether he supports Trump politically, the former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback has been more upfront in his allegiance. Just days after the inauguration, Manning addressed a Republican retreat of senators and governors in Philadelphia, joining Trump and Vice President Pence and has been a contributor to Republican candidates over the years, including Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.

In his final regular season, Manning, the five-time NFL MVP and two-time Super Bowl winner, had the luxury of laying low in Denver during the presidential campaign, but his name came up when the president was asked by ABC’s David Muir about his speech at the CIA. Muir asked when he’ll stop focusing on things like crowd sizes and the enthusiasm with which he is greeted at rallies.

Trump compares his ovation to Peyton Manning’s

“That speech was a home run,” Trump said of his remarks at the CIA, opening his first major TV interview since the inauguration with a baseball analogy. “See what Fox said. They said it was one of the great speeches. They showed the people applauding and screaming. … I got a standing ovation. In fact, they said it was the biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning had won the Super Bowl, and they said it was equal. I got a standing ovation. It lasted for a long period of time.”

There was never much peace for Brady. A “Make America Great Again” cap was spotted in the New England Patriots quarterback’s locker in September 2015 and the 2016 season brought a deluge of questions about whether he supported Trump, whom he called a friend and golfing buddy. He wouldn’t go any farther, though, until he tried to put the matter to rest just after the inauguration and before Super Bowl LI.

‘Just a friendship’: Brady on Trump

“I have called him, yes, in the past. Sometimes he calls me. Sometimes I call,” he said on WEEI’s “Kirk and Callahan” show, detailing his dialing habits. “But, again, that’s been someone I’ve known. I always try to keep it in context because for 16 years you know someone before maybe he was in the position that he was in. He’s been very supportive of me for a long time. It’s just a friendship. I have a lot of friends. I call a lot of people.”

Brady tried to dodge political talk about Trump throughout the regular season, and he was taking evasive action again after Trump addressed Patriots owner Robert Kraft during a pre-inaugural dinner that fell during the NFL playoffs, saying, “Your friend Tom just called. He feels good. He called to congratulate us. He feels good.” Brady might have let the topic die after that statement, but he elaborated the day after the team’s AFC championship game victory, saying that he didn’t understand why everyone was so curious about it.

“I don’t want to get into it, but if you know someone it doesn’t mean you agree with everything they say or they do. You have a lot of friends in your life,” Brady said. “I think there are things that are based in your own dealings with someone that is a personal dealing, not a public dealing. Because you have personal experiences.”