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Trump picks Patriots to win Super Bowl without referring to Falcons or Matt Ryan by name

The friendship between Robert Kraft and President Trump (shown in 2012) goes way back. (Charles Krupa/AP File)

It’s no secret that President Trump is pals with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, but evidently his interest doesn’t extend much beyond that team.

In a pregame interview with Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, Trump picked his buds to win Super Bowl LI — and didn’t even name their opponent.

It hasn’t escaped the president’s notice that the Patriots troika has been “taking gas,” as O’Reilly put it, for their support of him.

“They’re taking a lot of heat,” Trump said. “But you know what? They’re also getting a lot of popularity out of it. I think they’re going to do very well. Tom’s a winner.”

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Asked if he was rooting for the Patriots, Trump turned diplomatic.

“I think the other team is fantastic, though,” Trump said. “It’s a fantastic team. He turned out to be a good quarterback. You know, there’s less pressure on the Patriots, because they’ve been there. Once you’ve done it — and they’ve done it — once you’ve done it, there’s a lot less pressure. So, we’ll see what happens. But you know, you have to stick up for your friends, right?”

“The other team.” You know, the Atlanta Falcons. And “he” would be quarterback Matt Ryan, you know, the NFL’s MVP.

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Trump tried not to make a prediction on the final score, but O’Reilly pressed.

“I don’t know even know — what are the odds?” Trump said. “I guess it’s pretty even. Two great teams. Pretty even. So I’ll say the Patriots will win.”

“By how many points?” O’Reilly pressed.

“By eight points.”

Staff writer Adam Kilgore contributed to this report.