President Donald Trump believes the International Olympic Committee was “very happy” when it spoke with him about Los Angeles’ 2024 Olympic bid.
“They wanted to have an endorsement from me, and I gave it to them very loud and clear,” Trump said in his first public comments about LA 2024 in a Westwood One radio interview that aired Sunday. “I would love to see the Olympics go to Los Angeles. I think that it’ll be terrific. The United States committee’s members have asked me to speak up about it, and I have, and I think I’ve helped them, and let’s see what happens. But I’d be very happy and honored if they would choose Los Angeles, and we’d stand behind it.”
Los Angeles is vying with Budapest and Paris for the 2024 Olympics. IOC members will vote to choose the host city in September. The U.S. is in the midst of its longest stretch between hosting Olympics (Summer or Winter) since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960.
In November, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Trump talked about immigration, infrastructure and the Olympics in their first phone call after the election.
Trump and IOC president Thomas Bach then spoke by phone about the bid, when Trump “expressed his strong support” for LA 2024, according to LA 2024.
Trump also said in Sunday’s radio interview that he doesn’t know if his immigration policy and recent executive order will hurt the Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid in the eyes of International Olympic Committee voters.
“Well, I don’t know, but we have to have, regardless, we have to have security in our country,” Trump said. “We have to know who’s coming into our country.”
Trump’s executive order banning refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries was blocked by a federal judge. NBC News has the latest information on where things stand.
The IOC does not comment on the politics of sovereign countries, while the U.S. Olympic Committee issued a statement after the executive order.
“Like the United States, the Olympic Movement was founded based upon principles of diversity and inclusion, of opportunity and overcoming adversity,” the USOC said. “As the steward of the Olympic Movement in the United States, we embrace those values. We also acknowledge the difficult task of providing for the safety and security of a nation. It is our sincere hope that the executive order as implemented will appropriately recognize the values on which our nation, as well as the Olympic Movement, were founded.”
LA 2024 bid chairman Casey Wasserman said last week that the bid wants “to be judged on the merits of the bid, not politics.” The LA 2024 Olympic bid has promoted diversity from its beginning.Follow @nzaccardi