Tom Brady Calls Donald Trump ‘A Great Friend’

2013 Carnegie Hall Medal Of Excellence Gala

On Tuesday, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady called GOP 2016 presidential frontrunner Donald Trump a “great friend.”

Appearing on Dennis and Callahan on Boston’s WEEI, Brady responded to a query about a hat spotted in his locker. He enthused, “He sent it to me via [Patriots owner Robert Kraft]. I’ve known [Trump] since 2002 where I judged one of his beauty pageants.” When asked if he would vote for Trump for president, Brady answered, “I don’t know. That’s a good question.… Honestly he’s a great friend … spent a lot of time golfing together.”

A blogger posted the image of a red “Make America Great Again” cap in Brady’s locker over the weekend.

Trump unequivocally supported Brady following Deflategate. In July, Trump stated of Brady’s four-game NFL suspension: “It’s shocking the way it’s been handled. It’s a disgrace. It’s as bad or worse than Ray Rice.” He added that Brady’s lawsuit against the NFL was belated, saying, “He waited too long, he should have sued them earlier.” When asked about Roger Goodell’s accusation that Brady destroyed his cell phone, Trump responded, “The way it was released it sounds bad but when you hear Tom’s side, I don’t know. It’s a very different way of hearing it. I know him so well, he’s such a high quality guy.”

Last week, after Brady won his appeal against the league, Trump tweeted, “Congratulations to Tom Brady on yet another great victory- Tom is my friend and a total winner!”

In the WEEI interview, Brady also asserted that he had not been infuriated by the Deflategate fallout, but rather viewed the events as one more obstacle he had to face, saying:

There were a lot of different emotions that I went through. Those were all at different points in different circumstances. I think they were all — I kind of took them as they come. I faced obviously different adversities in my life, different challenges and you just kind of rely on those experiences and you rely on a lot of people that are around you for the support. This has been a different type of challenge in my life. I think it’s been a different type of obstacle to overcome.

Brady also acknowledged he may do less interviews this season, stating, “”I don’t know exactly how I’ll approach those things each week.… I’ve always tried to fulfill different obligations for people and different times it’s hard to fulfill all of them. I get a lot of requests. Things that may be public or private and then I just try and make those decisions based on how the week is, but it’s hard to fulfill them all. We’ll see how that goes this year.”