Tom Brady has been coy about his political support for Donald Trump, but, in one of his final speeches before the election, Trump revealed on Monday that the New England Patriots quarterback said he had voted for him — and that he had the support of Coach Bill Belichick, too.
“Tom Brady, great guy, great guy. Great guy, great friend of mine — great, great champion. Unbelievable winner,” Trump said in Manchester, N.H. “He called today and he said, ‘Donald, I support you, you’re my friend, and I voted for you.’ …
“And I said, ‘So, Tom. You voted for me, you support me, am I allowed to say it tonight at this massive crowd in New Hampshire?’ He said, ‘If you want to say it, you can say it.’ Okay? Tom — that’s what a champ is all about.”
That’s at odds with a comment by Brady’s wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, over the weekend, but this much is certain: Brady has voted. Brookline town officials shared a photo with Boston’s Fox affiliate and said he had voted at 10 a.m. Monday.
Brady’s agent, Don Yee, also would not reveal Brady’s candidate choice, telling ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Brady, “like many Americans, prefers to keep his preferences to himself.”
During his inhumanly early weekly appearance Monday morning on WEEI, Brady promised to divulge which candidate he had voted for next Monday. Still, if there’s a hint, perhaps it came from Bundchen, who seemed to indicate over the weekend that the couple does not support Trump. (For one thing, Trump’s views on climate change are at odds with hers.)
This came to light when Bundchen shared an innocuous Instagram image of Brady at Boston’s Under Armour store and, deep in the comments, she was asked if the couple supported Trump.
Her response? “NO!”
During his speech Monday night, Trump also revealed the contents of a letter he said came from Belichick. He described it as “the most beautiful letter” and added that, when he asked whether he could read it at the rally, Belichick said he’d send one that “is a little bit different.”
“So I figured he was going to take all the good things out, right? Like most gutless people do. Gutless,” Trump said. “But he’s the opposite. He’s a champ. So he sent me the new letter and it was much better. It was stronger! Most people don’t do that.”
CSN New England confirmed the letter came from Belichick and here’s what Trump read to the crowd:
“Congratulations on a tremendous campaign. You have dealt with an unbelievable slanted and negative media and have come out beautifully. You’ve proved to be the ultimate competitor and fighter. Your leadership is amazing. I have always had tremendous respect for you, but the toughness and perseverance you have displayed over the past 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.”
In the swing state of New Hampshire, an endorsement from Brady and Belichick would carry a lot of weight. Most of the rest of the country feels differently about their Patriots, though.
Until Monday, Belichick had been mum on Trump — just as he is on most matters outside football. Brady, though, has faced questions about his relationship with the nominee since a “Make America Great Again” cap was spotted in his locker last year. He called Trump a friend and golfing partner, but shied away from endorsing him. Brady declined to weigh in on the issue of “locker room talk” when lewd comments by the candidate became public and although there was speculation that Brady might address the Republican National Convention, he did not appear.
Last December, Brady opened up a bit — but only a bit — about their relationship.
“Can I just stay out of this debate?” Brady said on WEEI. “Donald is a good friend of mine. I have known him for a long time. I support all my friends. That is what I have to say. He’s a good friend of mine. He’s always been so supportive of me — for the last 15 years, since I judged a beauty pageant for him, which was one of the very first things that I did that I thought was really cool. That came along with winning the Super Bowl. He’s always invited me to play golf. I’ve always enjoyed his company.
“I support all my friends in everything they do. I think it’s pretty remarkable what he’s achieved in his life. You’re going from business, kind of an incredible businessman and then a TV star, and then getting into politics. It’s a pretty different career path. I think that is pretty remarkable.”
Last month, he told WEEI that he and Trump maybe “would talk about it after Super Tuesday or whatever it is.” And he said he did plan to vote.
“I met him probably 15, 16 years ago,” Brady said. “We’ve played golf together many, many times and I’ve always had a good time with him. He’s been a friend of mine. He’s supported our team. He’s supported the Patriots. He’s been on the Patriots sideline a lot. He’s always called me after games to encourage me over the course of 15 years. That’s kind of the way it is.”