Politics | May 16, 2017 12:57 pm

Patriots Owner Robert Kraft on Friend Donald Trump: ‘Loyalty Trumps Politics’

Kraft says the President was one of six people who were there for him after his wife died.

Donald Trump greets Robert Kraft
President Donald Trump, center left, greets New England Patriots team owner Robert Kraft, center right, as team members look on during a ceremony at the White House in Washington D.C. on Apr. 19, 2017. (John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Boston Globe via Getty Images

Long before Donald Trump became president, he had New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s endorsement as a confidante and a person.

In a powerful interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, the paper-and-packaging tycoon opened up about his close friendship of 25 years with President Trump—not the most popular of public positions these days.

But Kraft says the real Trump is hardworking and loyal, and that the outspoken political maverick doesn’t mean all the controversial things he says.

“I had the privilege of going to his wedding with Melania. Bill and Hillary Clinton were sitting at the table next to me, for the record,” Kraft told the magazine.

“The only bad deal I’ve had in my whole life is when my wife, bless her memory, died of ovarian cancer. He flew up to the funeral with Melania. They came to my home. And he called me once a week for a year.

“Loyalty and friendship and relationships trump politics for me… I always remember the people who were good to me in my most vulnerable time. He was in that category.”

Kraft is aware of the political divide that he calls the worst in his lifetime, especially as someone who says his company policy is to talk to the people who clean the office as he does a bank president.

After all, at least two dozen of his team’s players skipped a visit to the White House last month, honoring their most recent Super Bowl win. And many of them were pretty vocal about their political protest against the current administration’s policies.

“I know that he does things or says things that… You know, he doesn’t mean everything he says,” Kraft told Bloomberg. “I’m privileged to know him that. People who don’t know him don’t see the better side.

“But I’ll tell you one thing: He’s very hardworking. I really believe that he wants to make the country better. And he’s grown in the job, I’ve seen it, too.”

Having known Trump for 25 years gives Kraft a perspective he feels isn’t getting shown in the media.

“I don’t believe that he’s portrayed properly,” said Kraft. “A lot of people don’t see him the right way. Part of it is self-inflicted with the style he uses. I really hope that things will be much better three to six months from now.

See more of the Bloomberg Businessweek interview below: