President Trump will meet with the International Olympic Committee Thursday amid a battle between Los Angeles and Paris for the right to host the 2024 games.
The meeting at the White House will come roughly three months before members of the IOC vote on which of the two cities will welcome the Olympics during what could be the final year of Trump's presidency, should he win re-election. Trump has remained largely silent on whether he plans to fight for the U.S. to receive the games in 2024.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer told the Washington Examiner in February that he believes Trump "would be very supportive" of Los Angeles' host efforts. The White House declined to comment Thursday on the nature of Trump's talks with the Olympic committee.
If Trump successfully persuades the IOC to choose Los Angeles as the site of the 2024 games, he will achieve a goal that eluded former President Obama.
In 2009, Obama traveled to Copenhagen just before the IOC was set to vote on an upcoming host to present the case for Chicago, his home city, to receive the 2016 games. Chicago was knocked out during the first round of voting, which was conducted shortly after Obama's speech. At the time, his failure to win the games for America after taking the unusual step of pleading for them in person was viewed widely as an embarassment for the new administration.
Trump has previously criticized Obama's unsuccessful bid for the 2016 Olympics, which ultimately took place in Brazil.
On the campaign trail, Trump referred to Obama's failed Olympic pitch as "totally incompetent."
"The president of the United States making this trip, unprecedented, comes in fourth place. He should have known the result before making such an embarrassing commitment. We were laughed at all over the world as we have been many, many times. The list of humiliations go on and on and on," Trump said in spring 2016.
The president has already taken some basic steps to boost Los Angeles' chances of hosting the 2024 Olympics. More than a month before Inauguration Day, Trump backed the city's bid in a phone call to the head of the IOC, Thomas Bach, that was reportedly arranged by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The IOC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Members of the committee will vote on the 2024 host in September.