Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced Monday at an election-eve rally in New Hampshire that he has received the endorsement of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick.
“Great friend of mine, great champion, unbelievable winner,” Trump said of Brady at the late-night rally, the second-to-last of his campaign. “He called today and he said, ‘Donald, I support you, you’re my friend, and I voted for you.”
Trump added he had asked Brady whether he could reveal his endorsement to the rally crowd, and said the quarterback had given him his blessing.
Trump also said he had received an endorsement letter from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
“‘Congratulations on a tremendous campaign,'” Trump quoted Belichick as writing, adding:
“You have dealt with an unbelievable slanted and negative media and have come out beautifully. You proved to be the ultimate competitor and fighter. Your leadership is amazing. I have always had tremendous respect for you, but the toughness and perseverence you have displayed over the last year is remarkable. Hopefully tomorrow’s election results will give the opportunity to make America great again. Best wishes for great results tomorrow, Bill Belichick.”
Neither Brady nor Belichick offered public comment Monday night.
The announcement is the first public endorsement of the Republican candidate by Brady. In an October interview with Boston radio station WEEI, the four-time Super Bowl champion said that he first met Trump around 15 years ago, and frequently played golf with him.
“He’s been a friend of mine,” Brady said of Trump. “He’s supported the Patriots. He’s been on the Patriots’ sidelines a lot and always called me after games to encourage me over the course of 15 years.”
Trump’s rally in New Hampshire Monday night came as his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, held her final rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, with an appearance by pop star Lady Gaga. Earlier Monday, Clinton appeared at a rally in Philadelphia with President Obama, Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi.
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