The sports world was shaken on Friday morning when Florida police announced they charged New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft with two counts of soliciting a prostitute. And for President Donald Trump, the charges probably hit a little closer to home as Kraft is his friend.
But when asked about the charges in the Oval Office, Trump was short with reporters. He said, “It’s very sad. I was very surprised to see it.” He also noted that Kraft has said that he’s innocent.
Watch the video below:
NEW: Pres. Trump on charges against Patriots owner Robert Kraft: "Well, it's very sad. I was very surprised to see it. He's proclaimed his innocence totally, but I'm very surprised to see it." https://t.co/bHHgDtBTng pic.twitter.com/ZUqrwLMHXj
— ABC News (@ABC) February 22, 2019
But it sounds like 77-year-old Kraft could be involved in something that’s worse than “very sad.” Police say they have video evidence of the sting, which they claim was intended to crack down on human trafficking.
Kraft, who is worth billions of dollars, was among over two dozen people charged in the sting.
President Trump and Kraft have been friends for a long time, and the Patriots owner was at the White House in 2017 when Donald Trump celebrated the team winning the Super Bowl.
Online, he’s expressed his support for Kraft on a number of occasions. In 2015, he called Kraft “my friend.”
There is no way my friend Bob Kraft agreed not to appeal the NFL decision without making a deal to at least get something. We love Tom Brady
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2015
In 2013, he warned followers and football fans to “never bet against Bob Kraft.”
Never bet against Bob Kraft, Bill Belichick or Tom Brady! @Patriots
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2013
Making matters a bit more uncomfortable is the fact that Patriots are expected to visit the White House for the customary visit that Super Bowl Champions make after their victory. And, in 2017 after the Patriots’ victory, Bob Kraft was with the team.
While President Trump has had a number of former associates entangled in legal trouble (from his campaign, Paul Manafort, Mike Flynn and Michael Cohen have all either pleaded or been found guilty of various crimes), those were are all for white collar crimes.
But Kraft’s charge, soliciting prostitution, isn’t a white collar offense and may be treated differently in the press and courtroom.