Tom Brady doesn’t understand the Donald Trump questions. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)
Tom Brady doesn’t understand why people care about his friendship with Donald Trump. He must’ve been born yesterday.
In his weekly appearance on Kirk & Callahan Monday, Brady shed further detail on how often he communicates with the President. Last week, Trump said Brady called him before the inauguration.
“I have called him, yes, in the past. Sometimes he calls me. Sometimes I call,” Brady said. “But, again, that’s been someone I’ve known. I always try to keep it in context because for 16 years you know someone before maybe he was in the position that he was in. He’s been very supportive of me for a long time. It’s just a friendship. I have a lot of friends. I call a lot of people.”
In the past, Brady has shied away from talking about Trump. But that wasn’t the case Monday. Just when the conversation was heading in a different direction, he brought up the subject again.
“Why does everybody make such a big deal? I don’t understand it,” he said. “I don’t want to get into it, but if you know someone it doesn’t mean you agree with everything they say or they do. You have a lot of friends in your life. I think there are things that are based in your own dealings with someone that is a personal dealing, not a public dealing. Because you have personal experiences.”
While Brady didn’t formally endorsed Trump –– he declined to tell K&C who he voted for –– he aligned himself with him throughout the entirety of the campaign. In September 2015, after a “Make America Great Again” hat was spotted in Brady’s locker, he said it “would be great” if Trump were in the Oval Office. At that point, Trump had already derided some Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and spent years propagating a racist birther conspiracy theory meant to delegitimize Barack Obama’s presidency. Brady later claimed to be unaware of the political issues at play, but ignorance isn’t an excuse.
From that moment forward, Brady was firmly a part of the Trump phenomenon. The President often mentioned him, once even citing Brady’s support as a reason for his strong poll numbers among Republicans in Massachusetts. After every controversy, including when Trump proposed enacting a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, Brady has opted to stick by his friend. Though the loyalty is commendable, he only opens himself up to more questions each time he defends Trump’s character. One of the most famous athletes in the country is embracing the most disliked president ever. If Brady can’t grasp the appeal to that story, that’s on him.
When the leaked Access Hollywood video that features Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women came out, Brady refused to issue a denouncement –– separating himself from even Trump’s closest political affiliates, including Vice President Mike Pence. With that in mind, Brady is lucky he hasn’t been asked more questions about Trump’s sordid history with women. On K&C, Brady once said he judged one of Trump’s beauty pageants. In an appearance on the Howard Stern Show in 2005, Trump bragged about going backstage while the contestants were undressing. Those words dovetail with the claims of Temple Taggart, a former Miss Utah who says Trump kissed her on the lips without her permission on two occasions –– including at the 1997 Miss USA competition. Since Brady was at one of the pageants, it would be fair to ask him whether he personally witnessed this alleged behavior.
If Trump’s erratic weekend is a harbinger of the next four years, this will be far from a normal presidency. And Brady, much like Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft, is one of his most prominent backers. At Super Bowl LI, the Trump topic will only get more play. If Brady is sick of the questions now, he should spend the next two weeks hiding out.