The relationship between Tom Brady and Donald Trump (which these days is really only acknowledged by one party) has come up yet again, as the GOP nominee referred to both Brady and Patriots coach Bill Belichick as "great friends" Saturday at a rally in New Hampshire. 

“I have so many great friends in New England, including Tom Brady and Coach Belichick,” Trump said at the rally, per the Boston Globe. “How good is Tom? Remember last year, he had the red hats?”

Calling it the red hat -- singular -- would be more accurate, but that was enough to tie Brady and Trump closely together throughout what’s been a controversial campaign. Last year, Brady displayed a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker, later saying saying, “I hope so. That would be great,” when asked about the possibility of Trump becoming president. 

Recent days have seen Brady hold off on discussing Trump altogether, as he declined comment when asked during Wednesday’s press conference what he thought of Trump’s “locker room talk” that had emerged from a 2005 taping of “Access Hollywood.” 

Trump and Brady go back to 2002, when Trump flew Brady out to Indiana to judge the 2002 Miss USA pageant shortly after the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI. Brady has acknowledged their friendship several times over the years, something that was clearly reciprocated when Trump was outspoken against the NFL during the Deflategate saga. 


While Brady has continuously praised Trump, he said in his weekly WEEI appearance last December that he’d rather not discuss the election, after which Trump said he had asked Brady not to endorse him for the sake of not complicating things with his public image. 

“Can I just stay out of this debate? Donald is a good friend of mine,” Brady said on WEEI. “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 and 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 three different career paths. I think that is pretty remarkable.”