President Donald Trump has frequently gone to war with the NFL, when it was politically advantageous for him.
But he had words of praise for the Patriots in particular and the league in general, and even had nice things to say about commissioner Roger Goodell (which may or may not play well with his base).
In an interview with the Daily Caller, Trump cited Goodell thanking him for his role in a dispute with Canadian broadcasters which helped the NFL, when asked specifically if Goodell deserved to be fired.
“Commissioner Goodell called me and he thanked me, you know, they were working on that thing for years. It was having to do with the advertisements for the Super Bowl, it was a long-term problem and I got it solved.,” Trump said. “I was very pleased that he called me to thank me for helping him with Canada and, yeah, it looks good. And their games have really been good, other than one call.”
Since everyone else in the world has weighed in on that no-call in the NFC Championship, Trump did as well, again bringing it back to himself.
“I feel badly, it was a great state that voted for me, Louisiana,” he said. “I feel very badly for Louisiana because that was maybe the worst call I’ve ever seen, but I guess there’s nothing they can do about that. And you might say it, I feel badly for Louisiana.”
He also endorsed Patriots owner Robert Kraft (who donated $1 million to his inaugural) as well as coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.
“So, it’s talent, it’s chemistry — they have a great chemistry with each other — I mean, I like all three of them, as you know, I’m a very good friend with them,” Trump said. “Coach Belichick endorsed me, you remember that? . . .
“Belichick is so tough and Kraft is a great guy. The three of them they just have — how good was Brady, I mean, the last game? Not the last game, the last two games. Brady plays better under pressure than he does in a regular game. I mean, that last two minutes, the way he was throwing the ball down the field — they were bullets. And I’ve seen how hard that ball comes at you, those guys were doing a great job. They were catching that, you know? That ball is whipped.”
The Patriots have visited him at the White House, though Brady skipped that trip with the team.